Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1665
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:50 pm

Some of you may have seen my recent trip report about my journey on The Speedbird One from Amsterdam via London to New York to visit the Intrepid. You will find the link to that report here:
A Vision Of Concorde (by Knightsofmalta Apr 10 2012 in Trip Reports)

This here is the somewhat unspectacular prequel explaining how I got from Zurich to Amsterdam in the first place. Perhaps just to explain. Here is the complete journey I made:
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/New%20York%202012/map.gif
ZRH-AMS-LCY-SNN-JFK-LHR-AMS-MUC-BSL.

You're probably asking yourself, why oh why does this man do this kind of stuff, why not return straight from Heathrow to Basel? Well, it's complicated. No, actually it is not. I wanted to take the trip form Heathrow to Amsterdam just to experience the legendary British Airways breakfast. And I love flying.

But anyway, on to the trip report we go!

Date: 5. April 2012, Maundy Thursday
Airline: KLM Cityhopper
Aircraft: Embraer E-190
From: Zurich
To: Amsterdam
Class: Economy
Seat: 11A, window


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So here we are. It’s half past two in the afternoon on Maundy Thursday. Although to look outside one might easily think it is already much later. The weather is atrocious. Typical April weather. But there’s also something very poetic about it, dramatic even, with soft white tufts of clouds gently and sadly wafting across the rain soaked green countryside, gingerly stroking the vast round backs of the rolling hills that dominate this part of the country.

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But I digress. Yes, in three minute’s time, my train will pull out of the station of the boarder town of Basel to embark on a very short journey of forty-nine minutes to Zurich main station, the main artery of the extensive and highly efficient Swiss Federal Railway System. It is a journey from the periphery to the centre, in more ways than one. There is a longstanding rivalry between the two cities. And I am the double agent. I live in one place and work in the other. Basel of course, has the better football team. But I digress again, forgive me.

A quick change of platforms and trains, another very short journey by train and at a quarter to four in the afternoon I alight onto platform three of the railway station of Zurich Airport, buried deep in the bowels of the terminal complex. That was easy, that was only just the beginning.

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When I arrive at the airport, the entire place is a beehive of activity. It’s not the usual clientele. Sad looking business travellers and important executive managers trying hard not to look impressed by anything at all have made way for families and young couples on their way to a well deserved holiday with some intense romance thrown in and presumably some heavy duty reproducing too. It’s on days like today, I think to myself, that the new four stories centralised security screening at Zurich Airport really shows its advantages. Sure there are queues, but they are not long and more importantly, they are constantly, slowly moving.

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After security I make my way to the lounge. It’s not the Senator lounge for me today. No, as I am travelling with KLM today I will avail myself entirely undeserved status in their frequent flyer programme and use their lounge.

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The lounge itself is okay. It’s nothing to write home about. On the downside, there are no toilets within the facility and whenever the front door opens, an irritating beeping sound goes off, probably just in case the receptionist – a frumpy looking thing, unfriendly, female (I think) – falls asleep out of sheer boredom.

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I spend about half an hour in the lounge before I embark on the long trek into the remotest corners of outer space and the known universe. At least that’s where I feel like I’m heading judging by the distance from the lounge to gate B08, which is housed in an incredibly soulless and ugly building built of corrugated iron. B08 is a bus gate.

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How to make yourself real popular with the other passengers...
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As soon as I settle into 11A, an emergency exit, one of the flight attendants moseys up to explain in great detail what to do in an emergency. My first impression of the lady is not good as I see her mincing down the aisle with some serious swagger of the hips. Darling, this is an aircraft you know, not the catwalk. But appearances are deceiving. She takes her time and seems unhurried in her very detailed explanation of the emergency drill. I like that, after all, regardless of the ‘tea, coffee, me?’ routine, ultimately the flight attendants’ priority and their most important task is to ensure the safety of the passengers in the cabin.

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Our departure is on time and take-off is powerful. We’re still in a steep climbs when suddenly I am blinded by a bright light. Oh yes, it’s the sun. I knew it was still out there somewhere.

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Service is swift, friendly and efficient. Not that the service actually consists of that much. Coffee, still water and Bretzels, formerly known as Happy Snacks.

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The shutter on the emergency exit is located at the bottom of the window frame. Presumably because the opening mechanism leaves no space at the top. But alas, the window won't hold and keeps slipping down. It's too bright outside. Bot never fear, I'm not surrounded by engineers all day for nothing you now. So I take the sick bag and wedge it in between the shade and the window frame. A flight attendant walking past gives me a queer look but then decided I'm okay. And walks on.

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And very soon we’re already on our descent to Amsterdam. The weather here is much nicer, but it’s also a lot colder.

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That concludes this short report. I have added it for the sake of completeness.

Cheers,
William
 
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airbuseric
Posts: 3560
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:24 am

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:48 pm

Hi,

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
How to make yourself real popular with the other passengers...

What else do you want then?! It's not their home airport so they can't do much more, airport won't re-set the gates to specific wishes of each customer.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Not that the service actually consists of that much. Coffee, still water and Bretzels, formerly known as Happy Snacks.

Happy Snacks? Never heard of that on KLM. I think you are confused with the small blue packs given on LH?

Rgds
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
AirAfreak
Posts: 694
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 am

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:01 am

I love the smoked almonds on KLM... I could eat them ALL day!!!! I love KLM, the Dutch, and the beautiful blue planes  
Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1665
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:25 am

Hi AirFreak

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 2):
I love the smoked almonds on KLM... I could eat them ALL day!!!! I love KLM, the Dutch, and the beautiful blue planes

I think I must agree with you on all counts. KLM is one of my favourites, becuase of their blue planes. And the Dutch I've met so far have all been a really friendly bunch!

Cheers,
William
 
travelavnut
Posts: 1327
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 1:35 pm

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:28 pm

I love your writing style, please write more TRs 
Live From Amsterdam!
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1665
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:45 pm

Hi Travelnut

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 4):
I love your writing style, please write more TRs

Thank you, that's very kind of you to mention. I figured seeing as the content of the report would be a bit of an anti-climax following my previous report, I might as well put a bit of effort into the text to make it worth while!

Cheers,
William
 
sultanils
Posts: 1929
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:37 pm

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:05 pm

Hello William,

Nice prelude to your Concorde story. KLM and ZRH performing solid here and a lovely Jungle Jet thrown in as well. That's a good appetizer for sure!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
How to make yourself real popular with the other passengers...

Ryanair: take note!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
She takes her time and seems unhurried in her very detailed explanation of the emergency drill. I like that, after all, regardless of the ‘tea, coffee, me?’ routine, ultimately the flight attendants’ priority and their most important task is to ensure the safety of the passengers in the cabin.

I had the same experience a while ago on a KLM flight. Being seated in the exit row, the FA took her time to explain the procedures ICE. And in my own language for a change!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
So I take the sick bag and wedge it in between the shade and the window frame. A flight attendant walking past gives me a queer look but then decided I'm okay.

You're inventive but harmless type then  

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
LH4116
Posts: 1183
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:39 am

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:11 pm

Hi William, nice little bite-sized report!  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
No, actually it is not. I wanted to take the trip form Heathrow to Amsterdam just to experience the legendary British Airways breakfast.

Hmm, now I've heard people make up all kinds of crazy reasons to take some certain or additional flights/routings. But flying for the sole purpose of having a full-english breakfast? Now that's a new one! As much as I'm a fan of airline catering I must give you some cred for this one. Way to go! 
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
and whenever the front door opens, an irritating beeping sound goes off, probably just in case the receptionist

Suppose that could be a measurement to prevent passengers from sneaking in to the lounge. Often times lounge receptionists may not be present at the reception to spot passengers, some of might may enter without being eligible for it. Read an interesting thread on FT about a guy who sneaked into the Delta SkyClub in ATL. Unfortunately the staff managed to spot him and drag him out of the lounge  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
How to make yourself real popular with the other passengers...

Well I suppose that may be the case on a day like those, since few of the pax have status  

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
AirAfreak
Posts: 694
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 am

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:27 am

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 3):

I was excited when I saw KLM flights on my next trip, but they are codeshares operated by Air France... At least I have a night in Amsterdam, I guess  
Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1665
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:02 am

Hi AirFreak

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 8):
I was excited when I saw KLM flights on my next trip, but they are codeshares operated by Air France... At least I have a night in Amsterdam, I guess

That is a bit of a let down. I can't say I much like Air France. Still, it could be worse if you'd have to transfer at CDG!
 
AirAfreak
Posts: 694
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 am

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:29 am

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 9):

Given the lengthy layover, I'd almost prefer CDG instead of LYS for a transfer point. I am flying AVL-DTW-AMS-LYS-CFR so no other option, but LYS and no CDG. I wish I knew what to do in LYS for 4 hours!!! I was fooled by the KLM codeshare operation. I hope AF is nice within France/Europe!
Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
 
MSS658
Posts: 2454
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:16 am

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:43 pm

Hey

Great trip report, thanks for sharing. Flew KLC quite a few times and always found that they had a consistent service. Which, in your case was not an exception. A free drink and a cookie for such a short flight is just great.

Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
adamspotter
Posts: 1191
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:06 pm

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:06 pm

Hi there,
Nice little report on the KLM EMB190!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I live in one place and work in the other. Basel of course, has the better football team. But I digress again, forgive me.

hehe I prefer FC Zurich more

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
On the downside, there are no toilets within the facility

that sure is a downside

cheers,
adamspotter // Brendan
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1665
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:48 am

Hi Air Freak

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 10):
I wish I knew what to do in LYS for 4 hours!!!

If I remember correctly, the airport is not that far away from the city. Or rather, the connections into town are pretty good.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 10):
I hope AF is nice within France/Europe!

Well, they're okay I guess. Nothing to write home about. But at least they still serve you a drink and some snack.

Hi Marc

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 11):
Great trip report, thanks for sharing. Flew KLC quite a few times and always found that they had a consistent service. Which, in your case was not an exception. A free drink and a cookie for such a short flight is just great.

Thanks, my pleasure. I fully agree. I've always enjoyed flying with KLM and for the duration of the flight and the time of day, the snack was perfectly adequate. What I'm not sure about though, is whether service on KLC is the same as on the mainline fleet.

Hi Brandan

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 12):
Nice little report on the KLM EMB190!

Thanks!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 12):
hehe I prefer FC Zurich more

Well fair enough I suppose. After all, they have indeed on occasion played better than the FCB. But only slightly...

Thanks for posting guys.

Cheers,
William
 
deltamartin
Posts: 981
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2010 5:48 pm

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:36 pm

Hi William!

Nice little report on the cute KLC E190.
Seems like you had a good flight, and good idea with the sickness bag. Gotta love simple solutions to simple problems!  

Martin
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1665
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: To Amsterdam By KLM: A Prequel To Concorde

Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:22 pm

Hi Martin

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 14):
Nice little report on the cute KLC E190.

Thanks. Yeah, the E190 is a nifty little plane. And it's quite spacious inside.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 14):
Seems like you had a good flight, and good idea with the sickness bag. Gotta love simple solutions to simple problems!

Yes, I was quite chuffed by the result. The FA wasn't quite sure what to make of it or me but eventually she realised I meant no harm!

Thanks for posting, Martin!

Cheers,
William

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