PlaneHunter
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On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:31 am

On Par with Air France?
DTW-AMS-MUC on KLM A330-200 & 737-300



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Photo © Nick de Jonge Photography
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Photo © S Fernandez



Intro
The third and last part of my latest trip reports series covers the DTW-AMS and AMS-MUC sectors on KLM's A330-200 and 737-300. After an outstanding CDG-ATL flight on Air France the key question was whether KLM would be on par with its larger family member. All those who have missed parts 1 & 2 simply need to click here:
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour



Background
In early January my brother and I decided to go on a short sightseeing trip to the United States. We weren't fixated on a certain city, but my brother suggested to integrate Chicago. Numerous airlines offered attractive fares for mid-February, but the cheapest options on US Airways and British Airways couldn't impress me. Finally I found some interesting options on AF/KL/NW, including the DC-9. Now I sniffed a chance to get what I missed two years ago: the DC-9-50. I continued searching and suddenly an entry on NWA's website caught my attention: an ORD-DTW flight operated by a rare DC-9-40. Honestly, I hadn't ever tried to find those, because I had never seen them separately in the NWA timetable. However, they did now indeed show up in the system. Now I still had to solve an old problem: How to include the DC-9-50, too?

I continued searching, probably for several hours. In the end I hadn't only found the desired DC-9-40 and DC-9-50, but also a (Delta) MD-88 which was also missing in my log. The long-haul sectors would be operated by Air France and KLM, airlines which I had flown several times before. And I had also been on the A330-200 and the A340-300 several times before. However, I hadn't boarded an Air France A340 and a KLM A330 yet. An A318 also showed up on the MUC-CDG sector, but I had already flown that type before. So I finally booked the MUC-CDG-ATL and ORD-DTW-AMS-MUC sectors on AF%u2019s website and added an ATL-MEM-ORD trip on orbitz.com. Final price: 490 Euro.





Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Detroit (DTW) - Amsterdam (AMS)
KLM KL618
21:15-11:05 (21:10-10:47)
Flying time: 07:19 (hrs)

Airbus A330-203
PH-AOD (MSN 738), named "Piazza del Duomo - Milano", delivered in 04/2006
Economy Class, Seat 37A



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Photo © Jerome Zbinden
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Photo © Peter de Jong



Aircraft & Cabin Comfort
After our arrival from Chicago on the DC-9-40 we walked straight to our gate. A KLM A330-200 was already being prepared in the darkness for flight KL618 to Amsterdam - it was PH-AOD, delivered in April 2006:



Friendly flight attendants in the famous blue KLM uniforms welcomed us on board and we walked down to row 37. The relatively new seats weren't as comfortable as the (old-style) models on the Air France A340 - and not as comfortable as on the KLM 772.



Small PTVs:



Seat pitch was about the same as on the Air France A340 and the KLM 772, but the larger IFE box reduced the legroom significantly. It's interesting to note that the IFE boxes on KLM’s 772 are located under the aisle seats and not under the window seats.



Welcome screens:





Cabin shot (taken later in the flight):



Seat Change Prohibited
My brother who is considerably taller than I felt really uncomfortable in his seat. It was soon clear we would depart with many empty seats in Economy Class and so he suggested to move to a nearby row with two empty seats. I asked a senior female flight attendant whether boarding had been completed and told her about the seat problem. She was very friendly, but advised us that switching seats would be allowed only after take-off and referred to weight balancing. Shortly afterwards there was even a cabin announcement about that issue. I was a bit confused because I had never noticed such a policy on another carrier.

However, within the following minutes other passengers started to switch seats and the number of empty rows was decreasing. My brother was concerned that he wouldn't find an empty row after take-off, so he simply switched, too. Then an older male flight attendant showed up and immediately asked - even a bit rudely: "Sir, didn't you hear the announcement?" He sent my brother back and added that the very row had already been reserved for other passengers. However, he didn’t send others back to their original seats. Now I stopped a younger female flight attendant who was passing by and told her about the fact that numerous passengers had switched, too - without consequences. And I asked why others had been able to "reserve" empty seats. Then she immediately offered to reserve a seat for my brother in the row behind us. We agreed and she took out a pen and marked a head rest cover.


IFE
We left the gate early and soon climbed into the night sky. There wasn't much to see outside so I had a look at the AVOD IFE system. It's not as funky as the systems offered by Emirates or Singapore Airlines, but it still offers a large selection of entertainment options.

Main menu:


These are the highlights:

  • - More than 80 movies, available in different languages
  • - Dozens of TV features
  • - Hundreds of music tracks (incl. playlist builder)
  • - 24 audio channels
  • - 20 video games
  • - Classic airshow channel
  • - Email/SMS service
  • - Berlitz language courses (23 languages)

The system was easy to operate, but the hand-held-only control was not as user-friendly as the touchscreen and hand-held control on the AF A340.


Snack
Shortly after departure drinks and almonds were served:



Dinner? No thanks!
I hadn't been feeling well all day - probably I had eaten too much and too late on the evening before. In order to take care of my upset stomach I continued to stay away from any food - and for the first time I rejected an airline meal. To be honest, it wasn't easy to tolerate the smell of food in the cabin...  Embarrassment
When the situation got worse I went to the galley and asked for some medicine. Both the old and the young female flight attendants who I had talked to earlier promised to help and soon gave me some pills. And luckily, these really helped.

I was glad to find out that my brother had taken a picture of his meal. Here it is:


The presentation was poor and the portion was quite small – however, according to my brother, the taste was ok. Unfortunately, I cannot go into detail about the available options and the specific courses.


Breakfast
I found some sleep after the cabin lights had been dimmed. Later I killed the time by exploring the IFE system. Some 90 minutes before landing the flight attendants started serving breakfast. The sky was full of clouds this morning:



The older female flight attendant asked me how I was feeling and asked whether I wanted to eat anything. It was a light breakfast, so I agreed. Again, the presentation was quite poor:



Both the strawberry yogurt and the muffin weren't bad, though. The portion was just right for me in that special situation - but otherwise it wouldn't have been enough.




Approach & Arrival
Roughly an hour after breakfast we crossed the Dutch coastline...



...and huge port facilities:





PH-AOD touched down at Amsterdam Schiphol 7 hours and 19 minutes after take-off:





During disembarking the older and the younger female flight attendants asked me whether I was feeling better. Nice gesture!  thumbsup  One more shot of the plane in daylight:




Transfer at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
It's always a nice experience to change planes at AMS. Everything is easy to find, there are many shops and large seating areas - as well as friendly staff. We had to spend several hours at AMS, but some spotting helped to kill the time. I got a total of 23 new registrations which is not bad. KLM's retrojet, Boeing 737-8K2 PH-BXA:






Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Amsterdam (AMS) - Munich (MUC)
KLM KL1797
15:15-16:40 (15:02-16:17)
Flying time: 01:04 (hrs)

Boeing 737-306
PH-BTI (s/n 2957), named "Niels Bohr", delivered in 12/1997
Economy Class, Seat 22D



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Photo © Klaus Ecker




Aircraft & Cabin Comfort
I had flown on older KLM 737-300s before, so I was glad to see PH-BTI at the gate, a relatively young bird newly delivered in December 1997:



Friendly flight attendants welcomed us on board and we walked down to our row. Comfortable seats...





...and sufficient pitch:



We left the gate early and took off only seven minutes later, passing two KLM 747-400 freighters and numerous Cityhopper Fokkers:





Snack
Two years ago I still had a choice between ham and cheese sandwiches on KL1797, but this time we only got cookies. At least the coffee was good - much better than the instant coffee on Air France.



Approach & Arrival
After only some 45 minutes in the air we left the cruising altitude and soon passed Munich Airport for a final approach from the East:



Several Lufthansa A340s and an SAA A340 parked at Terminal 1 remote positions:



Germanwings' BerlinBearBus meets the Air France retrojet:


The flight arrived more than 20 minutes early and we soon headed home after an exciting and successful trip.



Conclusion
Flying KLM was a nice experience as usual - the flight attendants were very friendly (with one exception) and delivered a very personal service, and changing planes at AMS was a pleasure again. However, the seating comfort on the A330 was limited - not as good as on the company's 772 and the Air France A340. I also liked the touchscreen-IFE-control on Air France much better. KLM's catering was ok, but inferior to Air France's in terms of presentation, quantity and quality. And you don't get amenity kits and menu cards on KLM.

So can KLM match Air France in general? Both carriers have different strengths, but I would rate Air France's product better. However, the difference shrinks significantly if you also take the carriers' hubs into consideration.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - other recent reports:
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330


[Edited 2009-10-03 04:53:52]
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
LH4116
Posts: 1183
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:26 pm

Great report, I really enjoyed reading it!

You couldn't be more right about the service on KLM, to me it's not half as good as on AF. For instance, on a 2,5hr intra EU flight AF would serve a full meal while KLM would only give a sandwich. Neither do I like the presentation of KLM's food, with the TV-dinner style meal served in a cardboard box, and the breakfast also being served in some sort of unnecessary cardboard and plastic box. It doesn't look nice, and I suppose they use quite a lot of resources to manufacture it. Give me a paperbag any day! Big grin

I am however flying ARN-AMS on KLM later this month, do you know if they will serve a sandwich or just a cookie on that flight?  Smile

Thanks for sharing!

//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
ba319-131
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Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:54 pm

Hi PH,

Great final installment, i's been a really enjoyable series, hopefully you have more trips planned for 2010, if not before!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After an outstanding CDG-ATL flight on Air France the key question was whether KLM would be on par with its larger family member.

- Let's see, I have my own opinion, lets see!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Small PTVs

- Yes, given these are young planes, I would have expected bigger PTV's to have been installed.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but the larger IFE box reduced the legroom significantly

- Yikes, that's huge!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My brother who is considerably taller than I felt really uncomfortable in his seat. It was soon clear we would depart with many empty seats in Economy Class and so he suggested to move to a nearby row with two empty seats. I asked a senior female flight attendant whether boarding had been completed and told her about the seat problem. She was very friendly, but advised us that switching seats would be allowed only after take-off and referred to weight balancing. Shortly afterwards there was even a cabin announcement about that issue. I was a bit confused because I had never noticed such a policy on another carrier.

However, within the following minutes other passengers started to switch seats and the number of empty rows was decreasing. My brother was concerned that he wouldn't find an empty row after take-off, so he simply switched, too. Then an older male flight attendant showed up and immediately asked - even a bit rudely: "Sir, didn't you hear the announcement?" He sent my brother back and added that the very row had already been reserved for other passengers. However, he didn’t send others back to their original seats. Now I stopped a younger female flight attendant who was passing by and told her about the fact that numerous passengers had switched, too - without consequences. And I asked why others had been able to "reserve" empty seats. Then she immediately offered to reserve a seat for my brother in the row behind us. We agreed and she took out a pen and marked a head rest cover

- What a mess, sounds quite out of control, looks like your brother was in the wrong place at the wrong time!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
for the first time I rejected an airline meal. To be honest, it wasn't easy to tolerate the smell of food in the cabin...

- You must have felt pretty bad then, never good when travelling.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
When the situation got worse I went to the galley and asked for some medicine. Both the old and the young female flight attendants who I had talked to earlier promised to help and soon gave me some pills. And luckily, these really helped.

- That was good of them, however I though pills and such like could not be just handed out?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The presentation was poor and the portion was quite small – however, according to my brother, the taste was ok. Unfortunately, I cannot go into detail about the available options and the specific courses.

- I remember when your meal tray was full and was the same size as the tray table!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The older female flight attendant asked me how I was feeling

- Nice she remembered.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We had to spend several hours at AMS, but some spotting helped to kill the time. I got a total of 23 new registrations which is not bad

- True, I'd be happy with 23.

Best Wishes

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:30 pm



Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
Great report, I really enjoyed reading it!

Hjärtligt tack, Jonas!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
For instance, on a 2,5hr intra EU flight AF would serve a full meal while KLM would only give a sandwich.

Interesting to know. Haven't been yet on such long AF/KL-operated intra-EU flights.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
Neither do I like the presentation of KLM's food, with the TV-dinner style meal served in a cardboard box, and the breakfast also being served in some sort of unnecessary cardboard and plastic box.

I can only agree.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
I am however flying ARN-AMS on KLM later this month, do you know if they will serve a sandwich or just a cookie on that flight?

I don't know, unfortunately. Probably it depends on the time of the day. I read another KL report yesterday - sandwiches were served on a morning flight.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 2):
Great final installment, i's been a really enjoyable series, hopefully you have more trips planned for 2010, if not before!

Thanks a lot, Mark! I still have to write reports about a trip to California (May) and a trip to Norway (June). And there's another USA trip ahead in October. I just need to find the time to write all that...  Wink

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 2):
- You must have felt pretty bad then, never good when travelling.

I had never had similar problems while traveling, it was quite a surprise. And it was really bad in the morning hours. It got better later then at ORD - I guess it was the "DC-9-40 medicine".  Wink

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 2):
- That was good of them, however I though pills and such like could not be just handed out?

The pills were non-prescription ones.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 2):
- True, I'd be happy with 23.

I got a total of 95 during the whole trip - which is quite good considering that it wasn't a spotting tour.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
FLIEGER67
Posts: 5195
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 3:59 pm

Hey, PH,

the long awaited return from the States story, something I´am thinking about and a good read.
Glad to read that you had a positive experience on KL and via AMS and also good to follow that the FA´s solved you´re situation and taking care of you.
Not that much flights here on KL but anytime on real interesting aircraft.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)

[Edited 2009-10-03 09:00:27]
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The777Man
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:11 pm

Excellent report with great pictures!

That is one large IFE box on the KL 330!

I also agree with you that Air France is better to fly with then KLM. AMS is much better to transfer at then CDG though.......I haven't been to transferred trhu MUC yet but AMS is my favorite airport to transfer trhu in Europe for all the reasons that you mentioned.

See you soon!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
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airbuseric
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:23 pm

Hi PH,

that was a nice read. I think give me AF over KL longhaul usually, but I think KLM IFE is better with more music choices. Despite the trouble with the seating in the beginning, overall the journey looked ok on KLM's A330. I like the 2 seaters when travelling with a partner, and they can't be found on most B777's crossing the Atlantic (expect AA).

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
I am however flying ARN-AMS on KLM later this month, do you know if they will serve a sandwich or just a cookie on that flight?

Jonas, you'll get a sandwich package on the late afternoon flight. I'll post a KLM report soon here of my recent BCN trip. One round is drink + sandwich package, then coffee/tea with a cookie. The ARN-AMS duration is long enough to do this service (and if you don't get it, you just order an additional plate that evening in Amsterdam  Wink)

Regards,
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
LH4116
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:42 pm



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
Hjärtligt tack, Jonas!

Hehe, what a pleasant surprise! Big grin

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 6):
Jonas, you'll get a sandwich package on the late afternoon flight. I'll post a KLM report soon here of my recent BCN trip. One round is drink + sandwich package, then coffee/tea with a cookie. The ARN-AMS duration is long enough to do this service (and if you don't get it, you just order an additional plate that evening in Amsterdam

Thanks for the info Eric!  Smile

Still, it seems like the service is pretty much the same as back in 2002 when I last flew KLM. Though I remember back in the days when they used to serve a full hot meal, Uncle Ben's of course. And a pre arrival snack consisting of a Snickers ice cream. On the same leg  Wink
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elevate
Posts: 121
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:08 pm

Good Evening PH,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After an outstanding CDG-ATL flight on Air France the key question was whether KLM would be on par with its larger family member.

I thought it'd be the other way around, KL have never put a foot out of place in my experience. (I'll read your AF now and hope that my AF flights later in the month will be just as good!)

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The relatively new seats weren't as comfortable as the (old-style) models on the Air France A340 - and not as comfortable as on the KLM 772.

A shame my KL 772 flight has been downgraded to an A332 then  Sad

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Seat pitch was about the same as on the Air France A340 and the KLM 772, but the larger IFE box reduced the legroom significantly. It's interesting to note that the IFE boxes on KLM’s 772 are located under the aisle seats and not under the window seats.

Not good news...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I asked a senior female flight attendant whether boarding had been completed and told her about the seat problem. She was very friendly, but advised us that switching seats would be allowed only after take-off and referred to weight balancing. Shortly afterwards there was even a cabin announcement about that issue. I was a bit confused because I had never noticed such a policy on another carrier.

In my experience it's their SOP. Logistic wise if most people don't comply it will make a difference.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
There wasn't much to see outside so I had a look at the AVOD IFE system.

Is it identical to that on the KL 772? (Looks a lot more like the -200 than the -300).

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Again, the presentation was quite poor:

Looks like KL's handling agent in DTW has let them down!


Thanks for posting,
Sam
 
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rogerbcn
Posts: 1173
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:46 pm

Hola PH!

Thanks for this interesting TR.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
"Sir, didn't you hear the announcement?" He sent my brother back and added that the very row had already been reserved for other passengers. However, he didn’t send others back to their original seats.

Never heard of such a rule... anyway the way addressing your brother was not really the best. Sorry to hear that, as much as KL crews are praised here.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
- More than 80 movies, available in different languages

- Dozens of TV features

- Hundreds of music tracks (incl. playlist builder)

- 24 audio channels

- 20 video games

- Classic airshow channel

- Email/SMS service

- Berlitz language courses (23 languages)

Owwwww! That is amazing even for some airlines on C-class.

Salut!

Roger
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JFKMan
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:52 pm

Fantastic TR and a fantastic trip overall! Well done!
AA - LGA
 
semsem
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:55 pm

I agree that AF is better. But now that BA no longer serve anything on a flight less than 2 / 2 hours nor do they even sell food I would rate KLM better than BA on short hauls.
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:06 pm



Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):

the long awaited return from the States story, something I´am thinking about and a good read.

Thanks, Markus!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4):
Glad to read that you had a positive experience on KL and via AMS and also good to follow that the FA´s solved you´re situation and taking care of you.

Yes, these FAs were really nice.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
Excellent report with great pictures!

Thanks a lot, Lars!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
That is one large IFE box on the KL 330!

Yes, one of the bad ones out there. But not as bad as on NW's A332 or TG's A346 where the box is as wide as the whole seat.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
.I haven't been to transferred trhu MUC yet but AMS is my favorite airport to transfer trhu in Europe for all the reasons that you mentioned.

I'm sure you'd like MUC (at least Terminal 2).

Quoting The777Man (Reply 5):
See you soon!

Yes! Only two more weeks!  Smile

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 6):
Despite the trouble with the seating in the beginning, overall the journey looked ok on KLM's A330.

Indeed, the flight was still quite good.

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 6):
I like the 2 seaters when travelling with a partner, and they can't be found on most B777's crossing the Atlantic (expect AA).

Very true.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
Hehe, what a pleasant surprise!

 Smile

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 7):
Though I remember back in the days when they used to serve a full hot meal, Uncle Ben's of course. And a pre arrival snack consisting of a Snickers ice cream. On the same leg

Good old times...

Quoting Elevate (Reply 8):
I thought it'd be the other way around, KL have never put a foot out of place in my experience. (I'll read your AF now and hope that my AF flights later in the month will be just as good!)

Hi Sam, I wish you good luck for your journey on AF. You never know how the crew will be like, but the catering should be very good.

Quoting Elevate (Reply 8):
A shame my KL 772 flight has been downgraded to an A332 then

Yes, definitely a loss.

Quoting Elevate (Reply 8):
Not good news...

Window seat?

Quoting Elevate (Reply 8):
Is it identical to that on the KL 772? (Looks a lot more like the -200 than the -300).

It was quite similar. I'm just not sure whether so many options had already been available back then.

Quoting Elevate (Reply 8):
Looks like KL's handling agent in DTW has let them down!

Probably. The catering was a bit better back in 2007 when I flew out of JFK on the 772.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 9):
Thanks for this interesting TR.

Gracias, Roger.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 9):
Never heard of such a rule... anyway the way addressing your brother was not really the best. Sorry to hear that, as much as KL crews are praised here.

It was the first time I had to wonder about a KL flight attendant.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 9):
Owwwww! That is amazing even for some airlines on C-class.

Yes, one can't complain.

Quoting JFKMan (Reply 10):
Fantastic TR and a fantastic trip overall! Well done!

Thanks a lot, Thomas. Nice to hear you enjoyed reading.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 11):
But now that BA no longer serve anything on a flight less than 2 / 2 hours nor do they even sell food I would rate KLM better than BA on short hauls.

Very true. BA's catering on Euro routes is very poor in these days. I still remember when they served delicious food on trays some years ago on the MUC-LHR-MUC flights.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
elevate
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 9:09 pm



Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Window seat?

Is there any other way to fly? Big grin
 
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CrimsonNL
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:11 pm

Hi PlaneHunter and thanks for sharing this report! I got a ride on the AOD myself in 2007, I had a bulkhead seat which had a little more legroom, but I have multiple experiences on the NW 330's with the horrific IFE box restricting my legroom!

I find KL okay to fly, the crew is generally nice and the IFE options are good (except on the 744) but the food and overall product is nothing special IMO.

Glad you liked AMS!

Rgds, Martijn
Always comparing your flown types list with mine
 
akhmad
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sun Oct 04, 2009 4:01 pm

Hi PH,

I have been waiting for this TR! An enjoyable read! Well done!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Then an older male flight attendant showed up and immediately asked - even a bit rudely: "Sir, didn't you hear the announcement?" He sent my brother back and added that the very row had already been reserved for other passengers.



Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 9):
anyway the way addressing your brother was not really the best.

Agreed. Not something I would expect from such an experienced flight attendant.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
And luckily, these really helped.

Glad to hear that.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Boeing 737-8K2 PH-BXA:

I have never been so close with this bird! Every time I could manage to catch her from a far distance.

Thank you for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
Econojetter
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:46 pm

Great report as usual. Thanks.

I recently had the opportunity for a direct KL vs AF comparison on ATH-GOT vv via their respective hubs. The catering style is indeed different on the longer flight (ATH-AMS, CDG-ATH) with KL opting to do a deli-style service without trays. The food quality and quantity in this instance were not too far from what AF offered (tray service), just less formal. On KL, we received two fist-sized sandwiches with decent fillings along with a drink during the first round followed by a coffee/tea plus brownie service after an appropriate pause in between. There may have been one more drink service before landing. I read a little piece in the KL inflight magazine about how they supposedly weighed the environmental impact of carrying lighter disposable service items versus heavier reusable ones (heavier aircraft more fuel); apparently the disposable items won out, so that's the way KL will go, but I wonder if AF will go more disposable plastic as well.

Both sets of cabin crew were fine, with AF being a bit more formal.

I opted for a longer transit at CDG (skipping the closest connecting flight) on purpose in order to make sure there would be no misconnection. So it was 3hrs at CDG vs 50min at AMS. On the actual day, I made it from terminal 2G to 2D within 25 minutes of getting off the first flight. Disclaimer: This could have been one of the best case scenarios at CDG, so I would still want at least 90 minutes between flights at CDG even for intra-Schengen transfers. Meanwhile the 50min AMS connection was, as hoped, a breeze.
 
luckyone
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:54 pm

Good read. Reminds me of my relatively recent journey on KLM's A330. Their breakfast service, at least on my flight, has been changed, and is much better!

Incidentally, is it just me ore are the blue walls a little much when one considers that the seats, carpet, airplane, FA uniforms and just about everything is that same obnoxious shade of blue?? I thought I'd been swallowed by a smurf!
 
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:30 am

Hi PH,

Great conclusion to this series.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Small PTVs:



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the larger IFE box reduced the legroom significantly

Technology certainly has come a long way in the 3-4 or so years since this aircraft was delivered.. But I'm surprised at how much is packed into that thing!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Seat Change Prohibited

That sounds really weird. Haven't heard that either.. Did you look around at the other head rest covers to see if they had been marked too?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
During disembarking the older and the younger female flight attendants asked me whether I was feeling better. Nice gesture!

That's nice!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Both carriers have different strengths, but I would rate Air France's product better. However, the difference shrinks significantly if you also take the carriers' hubs into consideration.

Thanks for that, I'll bear that in mind for any long term plan to make it to Europe.. It's just way too expensive for me!

Also - the blue coloured font looks great, thanks so much for changing it. Heaps easier to read.

Looking forward to the next read as usual!


Regards,

Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
BrouAviation
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:19 am

Very nice read! Good you enjoyed your time at AMS.

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 9):

Never heard of such a rule... anyway the way addressing your brother was not really the best. Sorry to hear that, as much as KL crews are praised here.

A while ago, a HV 738 had a tailstrike during TO at RTM. It was caused by passengers not being assigned to seats, and were all sitting in the back of the plane. Maybe that s why KL is so careful about this.
Never ask somebody if he's a pilot. If he is, he will let you know soon enough!
 
ronerone
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:42 pm

Excellent TR PlaneHunter! .. very nice pictures, and i especially love the structure too  Smile

I do not like KL's catering presentation in Economy nowadays. It is so cheap looking and very LCC-type. Having flown them trillions of times before however, i developed an attachment to them! haha.


Overall, they have a decent product, that is simple and reliable (as they used to say). It's nothing fancy, but it does the job i think. Their cabin crew for the most part are excellent though.

Finally, as you pointed out, AMS is a great airport! One of my favorites!


Thanks a lot for sharing! Looking forward to more!

Regards,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
Sabena332
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Wed Oct 07, 2009 2:46 pm

Hi there,

Great report as usual, I enjoyed reading and watching!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Small PTVs:

They're indeed very small for such a new plane.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
She was very friendly, but advised us that switching seats would be allowed only after take-off and referred to weight balancing.

That's strange! I've switched seats on Air France, Lufthansa, Swiss and United flights and nobody of the cabin crew cared about that.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The presentation was poor

I can only agree, it doesn't look very appetizing.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Two years ago I still had a choice between ham and cheese sandwiches on KL1797, but this time we only got cookies.

The same for Air France, no sandwiches anymore in Economy Class, just cookies or a bag of peanuts.

I am looking forward to more reports. What's coming up next? Anything planned or already booked yet?

Patrick
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krisyyz
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:40 pm

Thank you for posting this report!

I had the same experience on KL when I flew YYZ-AMS-BUD-YYZ last year.

I also found it interesting that KL doesn't allow people to switch seats until after take-off and I too observed numerous people disregard that rule which was quite annoying. AF is the only major European carrier that I haven't flown, after reading your comparison I may try them in the future.

KrisYYZ
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:25 pm



Quoting Elevate (Reply 13):
Is there any other way to fly?

Well, sometimes I prefer an aisle seat. Sometimes...

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 14):
I had a bulkhead seat which had a little more legroom, but I have multiple experiences on the NW 330's with the horrific IFE box restricting my legroom!

Hi Martijn, thanks for your feedback. Yes, I also had the "pleasure" to spend many hours in an NWA A330 window seat. Horrific is the right term to describe the box.

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 14):
Glad you liked AMS!

I always enjoy transferring there.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 15):
I have been waiting for this TR! An enjoyable read! Well done!

Thanks, Suryo!

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 15):
Agreed. Not something I would expect from such an experienced flight attendant.

Yes - and an experienced FA should know that not everyone on board completely understands the announcements.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 16):
Great report as usual. Thanks.

Thanks, Econojetter.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 16):
I recently had the opportunity for a direct KL vs AF comparison on ATH-GOT vv via their respective hubs. The catering style is indeed different on the longer flight (ATH-AMS, CDG-ATH) with KL opting to do a deli-style service without trays. The food quality and quantity in this instance were not too far from what AF offered (tray service), just less formal. On KL, we received two fist-sized sandwiches with decent fillings along with a drink during the first round followed by a coffee/tea plus brownie service after an appropriate pause in between. There may have been one more drink service before landing. I read a little piece in the KL inflight magazine about how they supposedly weighed the environmental impact of carrying lighter disposable service items versus heavier reusable ones (heavier aircraft more fuel); apparently the disposable items won out, so that's the way KL will go, but I wonder if AF will go more disposable plastic as well.

Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

Quoting Econojetter (Reply 16):
On the actual day, I made it from terminal 2G to 2D within 25 minutes of getting off the first flight.

That's a very good time.

Quoting Luckyone (Reply 17):
Good read. Reminds me of my relatively recent journey on KLM's A330. Their breakfast service, at least on my flight, has been changed, and is much better!

Thanks. Good to hear the breakfast service has been changed.

Quoting Luckyone (Reply 17):
Incidentally, is it just me ore are the blue walls a little much when one considers that the seats, carpet, airplane, FA uniforms and just about everything is that same obnoxious shade of blue?? I thought I'd been swallowed by a smurf!

I find the blue quite ok.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 18):

Great conclusion to this series.

Hi Nicholas, thanks a lot.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 18):
That sounds really weird. Haven't heard that either.. Did you look around at the other head rest covers to see if they had been marked too?

Yes, the FAs marked others, too.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 18):

Looking forward to the next read as usual!

Part 1 of the next series with more than 80 pictures should be online in a few days.

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 19):
Very nice read! Good you enjoyed your time at AMS.

Thanks, Erik.

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 19):
A while ago, a HV 738 had a tailstrike during TO at RTM. It was caused by passengers not being assigned to seats, and were all sitting in the back of the plane. Maybe that s why KL is so careful about this.

Interesting, hadn't heard about that before.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 20):
Excellent TR PlaneHunter! .. very nice pictures, and i especially love the structure too

Hi Roni, thanks a lot! Good to hear from you!

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 20):
Overall, they have a decent product, that is simple and reliable (as they used to say). It's nothing fancy, but it does the job i think. Their cabin crew for the most part are excellent though.

I can only agree.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 21):
Great report as usual, I enjoyed reading and watching!

Hi Patrick, thanks a lot for your comments.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 21):

That's strange! I've switched seats on Air France, Lufthansa, Swiss and United flights and nobody of the cabin crew cared about that.

It's quite interesting that many users haven't noticed a similar policy either.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 21):
I am looking forward to more reports. What's coming up next? Anything planned or already booked yet?

I'll soon start posting reports about my USA trip in May. Then I will write about a Norway trip in June - and I'll go on another trip to the US next week.

Quoting KrisYYZ (Reply 22):
Thank you for posting this report!

I had the same experience on KL when I flew YYZ-AMS-BUD-YYZ last year.

Thanks for your feedback, Kris.

Quoting KrisYYZ (Reply 22):
AF is the only major European carrier that I haven't flown, after reading your comparison I may try them in the future.

Yes, you should give AF a try.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
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OA260
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:15 pm

Nice report and nice photos although that breakfast would be handed back if it was me as I dont like the items.

Thanks for the report

OA260
 
KDTWflyer
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:09 pm

Nice TR there PlaneHunter! I have done the DTW-AMS segment several times in A330s and 2x in a B744. Do you know if KLM is coming back to DTW?
NW B744 B742 B753 B752 A333 A332 A320 A319 DC10 DC9 ARJ CRJ S340
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:14 pm



Quoting OA260 (Reply 24):
Nice report and nice photos although that breakfast would be handed back if it was me as I dont like the items.

Thanks for your feedback!

Quoting KDTWFlyer (Reply 25):
Nice TR there PlaneHunter! I

Thanks, Tim!

Quoting KDTWFlyer (Reply 25):
Do you know if KLM is coming back to DTW?

Unfortunately I don't know. Who knows what will happen once the DL/NW merger is completed. Hopefully KL will return, it's always good to have a choice on a route.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
RICARIZA
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:03 pm

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Both the old and the young female flight attendants who I had talked to earlier promised to help and soon gave me some pills

Can they do that? Once I had a terrible headache and the F/A of IB told me that she was not allowed to give me any medication.. was she lying then?

BTW, thanks for a very nice TR!

[Edited 2009-10-11 06:04:22]
I miss ACES, I am proud of AVIANCA & I am loyal to AMERICAN
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:07 pm



Quoting RICARIZA (Reply 27):
BTW, thanks for a very nice TR!

Thanks, Ricardo!

Quoting RICARIZA (Reply 27):
Can they do that? Once I had a terrible headache and the F/A of IB told me that she was not allowed to give me any medication.. was she lying then?

Probably IB's rules are different or it depends on the kind of medication. The KLM crew gave me non-prescription pills only.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
directorguy
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Wed Oct 14, 2009 5:49 pm

Great TR, thanks for sharing. It sums up KLM vs AF nicely. I always say-make AF move to AMS and I'd always stick to them. The horror stories about connecting through de Gaulle compel me to book rather generous layovers.
Well done A++
 
Contact Air
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:44 pm

Hi PH,

Great report and pictures - a very good comparison between KL and AF.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
In order to take care of my upset stomach I continued to stay away from any food - and for the first time I rejected an airline meal.

You must have felt really bad - but obviously you didn't miss too much regarding the picture.

Regards
Christoph
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:52 pm



Quoting Directorguy (Reply 29):
Great TR, thanks for sharing. It sums up KLM vs AF nicely.

Thanks!

Quoting Directorguy (Reply 29):
I always say-make AF move to AMS and I'd always stick to them.

Yes, AF and AMS would be a good combination.

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 30):
Great report and pictures - a very good comparison between KL and AF.

Thanks, Christoph!

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 30):
You must have felt really bad - but obviously you didn't miss too much regarding the picture.

So true.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
SXDFC
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:01 pm

I couldnt help but read this TR as the KL A330 has always been a bird Id love to fly on. It seems though that you and others compare KL and AF and I would like to know which airline seems to have better crew members ( Ground,Pilots,FA,etc).

Great TR and I love your pictures! It makes me only want to fly on the KL A330 even more!
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:05 pm

Quoting SXDFC (Reply 32):
Great TR and I love your pictures!

Hi Bobby, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting SXDFC (Reply 32):
It makes me only want to fly on the KL A330 even more!

Good to hear.

Quoting SXDFC (Reply 32):
It seems though that you and others compare KL and AF and I would like to know which airline seems to have better crew members ( Ground,Pilots,FA,etc).

I have been positively surprised by AF staff on my last few trips - but KLM is still better in that respect.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
TBloemink
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Fri Sep 10, 2010 3:44 pm

Hey   I recognise the Prince cookie. They are really tasteful.
When I departed on my trip from AMS to LHR I got those too  

By the way, I hope you didn't land/takeoff from runway 36L (the Polderbaan as it is called in Dutch). It's a really long taxi to the gate (15 minutes). On my trip last year I took off from 36L. When coming back 18R was planned, but because of the delay I landed on 36C which cuts 5 minutes of the taxi time. I saw you landed on the same runway as I landed, and its called the ''Zwanenburgbaan'' in case you didnt know  
Flown on: A300, A319, A320, A321, A330(-200,300), A380, B717, B737(-400,700,800,900), B747, B777(-200,300), B787-9, Embraer 170, Fokker 70
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Sep 18, 2010 2:21 pm

Quoting tbloemink (Reply 34):
I recognise the Prince cookie. They are really tasteful.

Yes, absolutely! I'm wondering whether they are still served in these days.

Quoting tbloemink (Reply 34):
By the way, I hope you didn't land/takeoff from runway 36L (the Polderbaan as it is called in Dutch). It's a really long taxi to the gate (15 minutes). On my trip last year I took off from 36L. When coming back 18R was planned, but because of the delay I landed on 36C which cuts 5 minutes of the taxi time.

I have landed at/departed from the Polderbaan several times, quite amazing how far it is away from the terminals.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
Avianca
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:20 pm

very nice report!

personaly I think KL service is good but the food is generally to small portions!
Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
 
lychemsa
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:42 am

Until the 1980s KLM was one of my favourite airlines. Catering was among the best. Now they are average but the entertainment choices impress me. I think that US airlines no longer offer medication; ie aspirin because of lawsuits. Impressed they offered you something.
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Thu Oct 21, 2010 4:48 pm

Quoting Avianca (Reply 36):
very nice report!

personaly I think KL service is good but the food is generally to small portions!

Thanks, Avianca. KLM crews have always been nice on my flights, but the catering needs to be improved.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 37):
Until the 1980s KLM was one of my favourite airlines. Catering was among the best. Now they are average but the entertainment choices impress me.

Which type(s) have you flown on recently? The screens on the A330s, 772s and MD-11s are quite small.

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 37):
I think that US airlines no longer offer medication; ie aspirin because of lawsuits. Impressed they offered you something.

No medication at all on US airlines? That's quite bad IMO.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
MSS658
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Sat Oct 23, 2010 6:10 am

Thanks for sharing this trip report! It's nice to see how you compared AF and KL (I have a similar comparison coming up).

Personally I find KL to be better than AF IMO. Meals were par, IFE was better on AF, Crews were better on KL. Seating was similar on both. On KL catering is better ex-AMS than ex-USA (catered by NW in DTW).

I always have found the 330/340 cabins to be more cramped than the 747/767/777. Have not been on the 380 yet.

BTW, nice to see that you have got the DC9 covered.
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:40 am

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 39):
Thanks for sharing this trip report! It's nice to see how you compared AF and KL.

Many thanks for your feedback!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 39):
(I have a similar comparison coming up).

Good to know!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 39):
Personally I find KL to be better than AF IMO. Meals were par, IFE was better on AF, Crews were better on KL. Seating was similar on both. On KL catering is better ex-AMS than ex-USA (catered by NW in DTW).

Interesting, can't wait to read more about your trip. I have always flown KL long-haul to AMS, not from AMS.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 39):
I always have found the 330/340 cabins to be more cramped than the 747/767/777.

I cannot agree with you this time - I'd say the specific seating comfort is the relevant factor.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
TBloemink
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:22 pm

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 35):
Yes, absolutely! I'm wondering whether they are still served in these days.

Last time I've flown KL was in July 2009. They handed out the cookies then, I dont know if they still serve them.

TB
Flown on: A300, A319, A320, A321, A330(-200,300), A380, B717, B737(-400,700,800,900), B747, B777(-200,300), B787-9, Embraer 170, Fokker 70
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330

Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:33 pm

Quoting tbloemink (Reply 41):
Last time I've flown KL was in July 2009. They handed out the cookies then, I dont know if they still serve them.

Alright, maybe we'll find the answer in a trip report here.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!

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