BlatantEcho
Topic Author
Posts: 1815
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 10:11 am

London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:40 pm

PDX-AMS-LHR-JFK (2 days) – PDX

I booked this trip a few months ago after I had completed my Italy Trip (link to report)
I try to get to a new international destination once or twice a year – and the opportunity arrose to visit a Trade Show in London. (I also paid a side visit to NYC to visit a friend)

Portland has one non-stop flight to Europe, Delta Flt. 178 to Amsterdam with an A332. We used to have Lufthansa service to Frankfurt on an A340, but now we're left with one flight.
Having previously used Lufthansa to get to Europe, I took the Delta flight last October to Italy and was mildly unimpressed. Nothing awful, just very middle of the road... My segment to AMS this time around proved to be a bit better in some regards. No matter, it's a simple and effective way to get to Europe quickly, and I really like to support the non-stop service.

Off we go!


3/3/11
PDX-AMS
Delta AirLines A332
Seat 32J

The flight departs past 4pm for some reason so I had time to go to the office, get some work done and then hop on the MAX train to the airport.

I refuse to check baggage during travel, including international flights, so after checking in online, I strolled through security in a mostly quiet airport and walked towards the gate.

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh202/WestCoastPDX/DSC04016.jpg

While the gate area was bustling, the flight ended up only 2/3rds full. The route is 4x/5x in the winter and then daily in the summer.

I was one of the many fortunate people to not have a seatmate, so I was spread out in all the glorious economy section comfort I could manage for the 10 hour flight.

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh202/WestCoastPDX/DSC04018.jpg
(I ended up curling up on the 2 seats, shamlessly sprawled out and slept for over 4 hours. Which is very very rare for me, nice!)


I watched two movies and before I went to sleep, I peaked out the window. There was some glow...
I stared for a few seconds, and as my eyes adjusted, I realized I was seeing something I had always wanted to see.... the Northern Lights!
Oh what a display they put on. We were north of Hudson Bay, Canada and the green ribbons just danced on the horizon for 15 or 20 minutes.
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh202/WestCoastPDX/DSC04022.jpg
It's an awful picture, but if you squint you can see a bit of the beauty I saw. AMAZING.

Wake up to an awful Delta breakfast – thing – which I ate and then were on approach to AMS.
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh202/WestCoastPDX/DSC04023.jpg

A painless flight all around. Better than the October trip, not as magical as the LH flights, but simple and effective transport to Europe.



3/4/11
AMS-LHR
KLM CityHopper Fokker 70
Seat 16? A

Now, landing in AMS after a 10 hr flight and 9 hr time change is always disorientating.
Since I was connecting onto a CityHopper flight, I was able to walk directly to the gate without going through passport control.

One of the big drawbacks of the AMS timing inbound from Portland is that you get to AMS at 11am or so. You've missed lots of the early connections and the next ones don't start for 2 hours or so. I usually don't mind airports, but after a longhaul and massive time change, I don't do much but sit and stare out the window.

The flight to LHR was a blur because of that.


http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh202/WestCoastPDX/DSC04026.jpg

Fokker 70 was a treat, but i was near the back of the bus, last window seat with a view of anything.
Sitting on the left side of the plane and landing 9L I didn't get to see much of the airport... which was the worst part of the flight.

Arrived at T4 in some remote part of the airfield and off I went to catch a train and tube to downtown.


London was great, what a fabulous city. Cool but clear with only a tiny bit of rain. All the museums and history. Need to come back here someday.

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh202/WestCoastPDX/DSC04102.jpg

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh202/WestCoastPDX/DSC04143.jpg



3/11/11
LHR-JFK
Delta AirLines 764
Seat 32G

Where I was in London required a bit of a hike to get to Heathrow. Bus to underground to train to airport. It's fun, but took about 1.5hrs to get to the airport, even though the ride from Paddington Station to the airport is only 15 minutes itself.

I rolled into T4, went through security and that was it. I was in the terminal. It took about 10 minutes tops. Very nice. No passport control on the way out, very simple. They don't assign gates in T4 until 90 minutes before departure. I'm sure if you transit there a lot you get a good idea of what gates are used by what airlines... still, it's a little nerve racking just milling about waiting for further instructions.

The apron of Heathrow is awesome. In fact, the whole airport is just wildly impressive.
There is nothing in the world like watching a BA 744 rotate into a dark and cloudy sky in the afternoon.
I saw planes I had just seen on the internet in ABUNDANCE every type and operator you could imagine. No place like it.

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh202/WestCoastPDX/DSC04257.jpg

We boarded a few minutes late. This was my first ride on a 764 and the load was quite light, maybe 60%? We boarded up, waited 10 minutes or so to push, and then taxied around to 27R and thundered off to the US
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh202/WestCoastPDX/DSC04258.jpg


I had a seat mate for a while, but about 3 or 4 hours in, he vanished to another part of the cabin and I had my 2 seats to myself
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh202/WestCoastPDX/DSC04263.jpg


This was my first true atlantic crossing, in the sense that normally I am way north over Iceland or so, so it was a little exiting.
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh202/WestCoastPDX/DSC04262.jpg


The contrails remind you this is a heavily trafficked route though, so many people making trips from Europe to the east coast of the states.
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh202/WestCoastPDX/DSC04266.jpg

We took a slight detour north over Rhode Island and then down the sound to JFK. Smooth flight and a nice sunny approach to the field.
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh202/WestCoastPDX/DSC04271.jpg



I spent two days in NYC visiting a friend. Got to see lots of new construction downtown and enjoy two sunny days.

3/13/11
JFK-PDX
Delta AirLines 738
Seat 25F

No Photos, I was tired and worn out from 10 days off and about.
Flight was painless. IFE included but they make you pay $2 for headsets domestically. I just watched the moving map and got ready for work in the morning.

Landed 10L in PDX and took the MAX light rail downtown and walked home.

Delta did good, painless and efficient transport to Europe and back. My Alaska mileage account likes that, I'll be MVP for the first time ever this year, all before April. Lots of traveling this year, can't wait for more destinations further afield....
They're not handing trophies out today
 
jlbmedia
Posts: 295
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2002 11:29 am

RE: London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:30 pm

Thank-you for sharing your trip. It was an enjoyable read. John.
JLB54061
 
LGWflyer
Posts: 2233
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:38 pm

RE: London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Sun Mar 20, 2011 5:54 pm

Great TR, some nice pics. Glad you enjoyed London, its one of my favourite cities along with New York. Was thinking of doing Delta sometime from LGW-ATL, do you recomend flying with them?
3 words... I Love Aviation!!!
 
BlatantEcho
Topic Author
Posts: 1815
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 10:11 am

RE: London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:05 pm

Thanks John-

LGW - I am flying them domestic more and more (since they are a partner with Alaska) and I have really come to enjoy their flights. Very simple, decent seat pitch and so many destination choices. I used to be very loyal to United, but think I have found my new hometown airline. If you are going to ATL, goodness, you can get anywhere onboard Delta.
They're not handing trophies out today
 
LGWflyer
Posts: 2233
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:38 pm

RE: London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:15 pm

Okay cheers for the advice!  
3 words... I Love Aviation!!!
 
Eltomzo
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:45 pm

RE: London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:34 pm

Quoting BlatantEcho (Thread starter):
A painless flight all around
Quoting BlatantEcho (Thread starter):
Flight was painless

Having never been on Delta, I find it telling that this counts as praise on that airline!   
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1588
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:03 pm

Do Delta serve meals to Europe?
 
willd
Posts: 138
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:38 pm

RE: London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:17 pm

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 6):
Do Delta serve meals to Europe?

Er yes....two hot meals. Ex UK a lunch followed by a pizza thing on arrival. Ex US supper followed by breakfast. Not even FR would be so tight as to make passengers not eat on flights that are long haul!

Quoting BlatantEcho (Thread starter):
Very nice. No passport control on the way out, very simple.

I can assure you there was. There would have been a check of your passport and subtle swipe of it as you entered security. Most probably done so fast you did not notice it. Then your passport would have been swipped again and checked on arrival at the gate.
 
LAXorLGWonDL
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:39 am

RE: London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:55 pm

Quoting LGWflyer (Reply 2):

For LGW-ATL, I'd say it depends on which a/c they are flying. Many times it is an A333, which is good. Other times it is the older 763, which can be a long journey - no IFE, old bins, etc. If the A333 is not available when you plan to fly, take one of the 764 flights out of LHR.

 robin
Next Up: STR, JFK, ATL, TPA, ANC
 
LGWflyer
Posts: 2233
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:38 pm

RE: London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:34 pm

Yep I have seen the A333 takeoff from LGW quite a few times this year. Gotta love the look and the sound of a DL A333 taking off!

           

DL doesn't send the 763 here anymore, just the A330 or 767. When the A333 is not here its a 764, I know they sent it quite a bit here in January. Which aircraft is better on DL the 764 or A330? I have flown the A330 twice before but on Thomas Cook and US Airways so I know that the A330 is a fantastic aircraft to fly on.
3 words... I Love Aviation!!!
 
BlatantEcho
Topic Author
Posts: 1815
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 10:11 am

RE: London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:20 am

willd - you are 100% correct now that you mention it, I completely didn't notice...
They did it right before I got into the security line. Then again at the gate.

I guess I am used to getting a stamp and having it be all official. (I really wanted a second Heathrow stamp!)
They're not handing trophies out today
 
crosswinds21
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:46 pm

RE: London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:21 am

Quoting BlatantEcho (Thread starter):
One of the big drawbacks of the AMS timing inbound from Portland is that you get to AMS at 11am or so.

This isn't so bad. In order to get to Europe early from the west part of the USA, you'd be having to depart really early, which I think completely screws up your internal clock. I once flew DFW-FRA on AA and that flight arrives into DFW at around 7AM. But that also means that it departs DFW at something like 2:30PM. So in essence that means that you have your "dinner" at 3:30 and then are supposed to go to sleep at 4. Of course, that's virtually impossible, so you wind up not sleeping on the flight and arriving into FRA like a zombie.
 
rwsea
Posts: 2422
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:23 pm

RE: London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:39 pm

Nice report, thanks for sharing. I have family in PDX and am an American expat living in AMS, so I take the nonstop a few times per year. Travelling just between the two cities, I prefer the later departure from PDX since I get time for a late lunch in Portland and then arrive mid-day in Amsterdam which is a lot less painful than first thing in the morning. Unfortunately for me it seems that they're moving it back to the early departure this summer, but I suppose this is better for connections as the current timing misses the Africa/Middle East Bank and also many Euro connections.
 
LAXorLGWonDL
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:39 am

RE: London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:50 pm

Quoting LGWflyer (Reply 9):

763's are being used in/out of LGW - I'm sure it's because they're using more 764s to/from MIA and BOS. It is the reason I'm not flying out of LGW this summer and using LHR.  

As far as the 764 vs the A333, I prefer the seat on the A333, but the IFE on the 764 so long as it's working properly - movie selection is about the same, but music seems better on the 764.
Next Up: STR, JFK, ATL, TPA, ANC
 
LGWflyer
Posts: 2233
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:38 pm

RE: London Trip: PDX-AMS-LHR, LHR-JFK, JFK-PDX

Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:23 pm

Quoting LAXorLGWonDL (Reply 13):
763's are being used

Hmm its been ages since I have seen one here, if the 767 has come to LGW when I've been there its only been the 400.

Quoting LAXorLGWonDL (Reply 13):
I prefer the seat on the A333

Well thats great, the A333 is here more often than the 764.  Anyways cheers for the advice!  
3 words... I Love Aviation!!!

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