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

KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:04 pm

Preamble
I’m off again. This time I’m heading for Montreal, Canada to present a paper at ICAO HQ. I like visiting ICAO. If you’re an aviation nerd like me, ICAO HQ is like some sacred place. It’s also a fascinating building to visit, quite like a museum. There are many artifacts sponsored by the various contracting states, including a beautifully Garuda carved of wood.

The last couple of times I visited ICAO in Montreal, I flew with Air Canada from Geneva and then returned to Zurich with Swiss International Air Lines. Essentially I guess there would have been nothing wrong with doing that again. But I felt compelled to check my other options, to see if there might be any cool routings, airlines or types to get me to Montreal which might convince me to forfeit the comfort of a nonstop, direct flight.

Before long my search brought me to the KLM website. In fact, initially I was wondering if perhaps there might be an opportunity to fly the Air France A380 to Montreal. But by the looks of it, the type no longer serves that route. In any case, my search with KLM yielded that the connection from Basel via Amsterdam to Montreal was not ideal: a layover of seven hours on the outbound and another one of five hours on the inbound. Even so, there was one very convincing argument for me to choose the KLM option just the same: most probably my last chance ever to secure one last flight on the MD-11 before she is withdrawn from service with the Dutch airline.

Welcome to this trip report!

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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Cordoba%202012/KLMlogo.jpg

Date: 17. July 2012
From: Basel
To: Amsterdam
Aircraft: Fokker F70
Airline: KLM Cityhopper
Cabin: Business
Seat: 1A


GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
Rather an early start today. My flight to Amsterdam will leave at 07h15 and although there is a fast track for security at Basel airport, I’m not really quite sure what the situation will be, after all, the summer holidays have only just started.

I leave my place at 05h30 to make my way by bus to the airport. Contrary to what I had been expecting, the airport bus is not at all full and security is calm as well.

AT THE AIRPORT
I arrive at the airport just before 06h00. I still have loads of time to kill but alas no lounge of which to avail myself. So I settle for a cappuccino at the bar at the end of the terminal. The young lady there is quite apparently having a bad hair day and evidently trying hard to pretend as though she hasn’t actually seen me.

I pass my time at the bar sipping my drink and watching the mindless music clips of equally mindless pieces of music they’re showing on MTV. To listen to me you’d never guess I’m only 37 and not some grumpy old bastard! But enough of that…

Shortly before boarding for my flight is expected to begin, I’ve had enough of the mindless music, so I collect my belongings and go for a walk about. I’ve been doing quite a bit of travelling lately, and like some trip down memory lane, I spot some of the types and airlines I recently had the pleasure of sampling.

Such as the Air France CRK.
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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050292.jpg

And even a BMI A319 in the original colours!
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And a few others.
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http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050287.jpg

The Swiss Avro is heading for Hamburg, it’s not very full.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050283.jpg

My bird.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050290.jpg

THE CABIN
Judging by the queue to board the flight, I’d say KLM is doing a roaring trade between Basel and Amsterdam. I’m on 1A, so I decide to board the plane last.
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The seat next to me is kept empty.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050310.jpg

Legroom is good.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050296.jpg

THE SERVICE
As with my last KLM experience, the cabin on this bird is in excellent condition. She may be old, but time and some TLC by KLM maintenance have been kind to her. Even so, I can’t wait for the Embraer to come on this route with the beginning of the winter schedule.

As I approach the aircraft, one of the gate attendants approaches me to take my carry-on suitcase off me and label it as hold baggage. I don’t mind actually if she does. But then she spots my Platinum tag and explains that I’m free to take everything on board with me. Oh okay then, be like that.

I am greeted at the door by a friendly young man in a sharp uniform – the purser of the flight. I place my briefcase in the overhead bin and take off my suit jacket. Before I even have the time to wonder where to place it, the purser stretches out his hand and takes it from me. ‘Shall I hang that up for you, Mr A.?’

I must confess I am a bit impressed. This guy has obviously done his homework and checked the passenger list. I’m also a bit surprised he got my name right. Most people don’t, even after repeated attempts.

This sets the tone for the service of the entire crew on this flight. They are outstanding, very professional and friendly.

Next the purser brings me one of the Swiss daily newspapers. He has others he says, just in case I’d prefer one of those.
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The doors close, we push back and subsequently begin our taxi to the runway for a departure in a southerly direction from runway 15.
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We don’t taxi to the very end of the runway and line up from one of the intersections. Take-off is swift and powerful. As we climb out, I spot a ‘private’ BBJ from the Emirates at the Jet Aviation facility, but I am too slow and literally only catch the tail end.
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At least we have some good views of the city of Basel before doing a sharp right turn to point the aircraft in a northerly direction towards Amsterdam.
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THE MEAL
‘Mr. A. will you be joining us for breakfast this morning?’ This is the female flight attendant. I answer with an emphatic and enthusiastic ‘yes’. It was rather early this morning you know. The flight attendant opens the meal box for me and places it before me. She explains she will also open the other table for me to put the drinks and my other stuff on it.

The meal consists of an excellent fruit salad of apple, pineapple, grapes and melon; yoghurt of maracuja and orange; a selection of cheese with smoked meats and a small pot of marmalade; and two warm buns with that.
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Next the purser comes by with drinks. I have a coffee and an orange juice.
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Overall, it is a very pleasant and filling meal and really hits the spot on such an early flight. As soon as I finish, the meal is removed and I continue to read the paper until we begin the descent.
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THE ARRIVAL
The weather in Amsterdam is not too hot. It’s drizzling, with low cloud and bad visibility.
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The runway that has its own tower.
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We park at the Fokker field and are subsequently bussed to the terminal.
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As I already mentioned in the introduction, I have seven hours before my next flight. The plan is to check in for the onward flight to Montreal and then deposit my luggage in the Schengen Transit area before heading into the city. Like that, when I return, I will not have to go through security again with all my stuff.

If only the check-in devices would let me. This is certainly not one of KLM’s finest moments! The first machine won’t read my passport, or the barcode on my boarding pass from the previous flight. So I have no other choice but to manually type in the number of my e-ticket. I finally manage to complete all the necessary information for immigration, the machine confirms that it is printing my boarding pass but in fact nothing actually really happens. No boarding pass. No KLM staff to assist in case of a problem either. Of course not, that’s why they put thee machine there, because apparently some financial controller figured the machine could do the job of a human being just as well and hey, who need human interaction or a personal touch anyway? So eventually I have no choice but to move to the next machine and try my luck again there. This time it works!

I dump my carry-on and my briefcase in a locker, go through customs and head for the city.
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1665
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:31 pm

Date: 17. July 2012
From: Amsterdam
To: Montreal
Airline: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Aircraft: MD-11
Airline: KLM
Cabin: Business
Seat: 1J


GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
In the early afternoon I head back for the ‘Centraal’ railway station and get on a train for Schiphol. The journey is not even 20 minutes.

AT THE AIRPORT
I pass through security, collect my luggage from the locker and then from there head up to the KLM Crown Lounge. I figured it would probably be calmer than the lounge in the non-Schengen area as there seem to be quite a few long-haul flights leaving around the same time as us.

THE LOUNGE
I like the Crown Lounge and when I arrive it is not too full either. The midday rush seems to have calmed down already.
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About 45 minutes before departure I leave the lounge and make my way to the gate. I still have to go through immigration and I’m assuming I will have to go through a further security check.

Immigration is a quick affair. When I arrive at the gate though, there is already a long queue at the entrance. Fortunately there is a separate lane for SkyPriority passengers. Otherwise I would have been right at the very back of the queue of a very full MD-11 load of passengers. First my passport is checked, then my boarding pass is scanned and then eventually comes the security check before being released into the gate.

It’s also my first experience with a naked scanner.

And then finally I am in the gate and I have an intimate moment with the hot bird taking me to Canada this afternoon. The MD-11 really is a quite a babe!
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THE CABIN
I barely have enough time to take a few pictures when already boarding begins. I’m quite excited!

I am greeted at the door by one male and one female flight attendant. I am instructed to take the second left to me window seat on 1J.

When I arrive, I am left well and truly speechless. The legroom available on row 1 is simply ridiculous! What’s more, there are no overhead bins over the middle row of seats, which only enhances the overall impression of space in the cabin.
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The seat itself is everything but state of the art. To be honest I find myself wondering how I’ll possibly be able to sleep on the return leg, which is a night flight. But we’ll get to that in due time. All the same, just like the rest of the cabin, the seat gives the impression of being very well maintained and is really quite comfortable.
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The IFE system could do with a revamp as well. But it serves its purpose and works sufficiently well. But it’s no KrisWorld!

One thing I find very interesting is that where other airlines have a curtain to divide the cabin from the space by the front door and the cockpit, KLM has a sliding door. Strangely enough though, only on one aisle, the other side has a curtain.

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The view.
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THE SERVICE
As on the previous leg, as soon as I take of my jacket a flight attendant appears and offers to put it in the wardrobe for me. This is then followed by the distribution of the vanity kits and a welcome drink service. I just have a glass of still water.
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The crew are all very friendly and chatty, but without being nosy.

We push back more or less on time and make our way to the runway. We taxi out behind a company A330. On our way we pass an Aeroflot B767-300 standing at the gate. I had no idea they operated those to Amsterdam as well.

Some views during the taxi.
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Other than the A330 there is no queue for departure and shortly after the Airbus takes to the skies, it’s our turn. And this is where I am reminded what I like so much about the MD-11: the acceleration, the power and – above all – the noise! Beautiful!
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THE MEAL
Quite evidently, my suspicion from the previous flight – namely that catering must be one of KLM’s strong points – is confirmed. The meal is not only very tasty but also plentiful.

We start with a drinkies and warm nuts. I have a Ginger Ale, cheers Planehunter!
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Then come the hot towels.
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First course: grilled shrimps with cherry tomatoes on potato salad with avocado mousse.
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This comes with a side order tomato salad. As the attendant places the tray before me, she offers me some cheese and croutons for topping on the salad.
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Main course: chicken breast in a rich gravy with onions, served with mashed potato and mushrooms.
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There is a selection of three different main courses, but I can’t remember what they were anymore. My apologies!

Dessert: lemon tart on a digestive biscuit base, served with strawberries.
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What strikes me about this meal is the nice presentation. First the black tray makes a change from what you usually find on a plane these days. And then there is this rather intricate pattern, a recurring theme that you find on the tablecloth, the cutlery as well as the chinaware. It’s quite elegant I find and a nice detail.
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On the tray there is also a small box containing the olive oil with balsamico; a salt and pepper shaker in the shape of a sand clock and some butter.
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After this tasty meal I settle down to watch ‘The best exotic Marigold Hotel’. I’m in two minds about the film. First of all it has an interesting line up of some of the finest actors Britain currently has to offer, such as the sublime Judy Dench and the amazing Maggie Smith. At the same time however, the story line seems a bit thin.

And then after that, yes, it’s time for the pre-arrival meal.

Chicken breast strips on a pasta salad with a tomato sugo. This is accompanied by a warm focaccia with mozzarella and tomato sauce. And for dessert a fruit Tiramisu.
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And then, as we begin our descent, the cabin come through the cabin with a small farewell gift. It's quite well-known by now across the world: a little delft house filled with BOLS.
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THE ARRIVAL
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We arrival in Montreal just after a heavy thunderstorm has passed over the airfield. We reach our parking position. I gather up my belongings, thank the crew for their great service and head for the exit. As I disembark it feels like walking into a brick wall. It’s so oppressive. The temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius, and with the recent storm the humidity in the air is unbearable.

Read on below for the return. Let me just close this section with the logo of ICAO, the organisation that makes everything we here on anet. enjoy so much possible.
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Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1665
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:52 pm

Date: 19. July 2012
From: Montreal
To: Amsterdam
Airline: KLM
Aircraft: MD-11
Cabin: Business Class
Seat: 1A


GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
It’s 16h10. My speech before ICAO is over, it went rather well actually, and I am sitting in a taxi on my way to the airport. The trip to the airport costs 40 Canadian dollars, it’s a flat rate.

AT THE AIRPORT
The driver drops me off at the international terminal, right outside the entrance to the section where Air France/KLM have their counters. I reprint my boarding passes and head through security. Strangely enough there does not seem to be any sort of immigration, just a guy standing in the middle of the aisle who wants to see my passport and then that’s it. I have left the country.

THE LOUNGE
The Air France lounge is rather nice. In fact I’d say it’s much better than any of the lounges of Air France I’ve ever seen in Paris. Luckily enough the place is not very busy, the earlier one of the Air France flights has just been called. For me this means that I will not have to wait for my turn for a shower.
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The showers are very nice. As I enter, I am given a kit of l’Occitane cosmetics and a set of nice, fluffy towels.
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I change from my suit back into my travel gear and feel refreshed and clean.

Boarding for the 19h15 departure begins very early at 18h20. I’m kind of bored in the lounge so I figure I might as well go for a walk about and then get on the plane.
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THE CABIN
I’m the first passenger in the forward Business Class cabin, which gives me the chance to take a few pictures. As on the previous flight, the general impression of the cabin is a good one. The plane is old, but well maintained.
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The view outside.
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SERVICE
Again the crew on this flight is very friendly and very professional. As soon as they spot me, two of them come up to me and offer to take my jacket. I am informed that the flying time will only be a short five hours and 48 minutes today and that the flight will be full in all classes.

Next another flight attendant brings me the vanity kit – the same as on the previous leg – and asks if I would like a drink. Orange juice it is.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050391.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050392.jpg

Departure is a painless and sprightly affair. We take off in a northerly direction, but sitting on the left hand side of the plane this means I will not have any views of the city of Montreal.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050393.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050395.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050396.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050397.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050398.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050399.jpg

Once the seatbelt sign goes off, the service begins with the distribution of hot towels and then the menus.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050400.jpg

This is followed by the first drinks service and the taking of orders for dinner. I have a Ginger Ale with the warm nuts.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050401.jpg

THE MEAL
As sun begins to set outside, casting everything is a lovely red glow, the meal service starts.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050403.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050404.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050405.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050413.jpg

For starters: Jamaican-style chicken with aubergine and cherry tomatoes.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050406.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050407.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050409.jpg

Nice warm bread.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050408.jpg

Salad dressing.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050410.jpg

The cutlery.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050411.jpg

For the main course there are three options: Braised beef with mashed potatoes, carrots and onions; pasta with artichokes and a Marinara sauce or Atlantic salmon with rice. I go with the beef and it is very tasty!
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050412.jpg

For Dessert: Camembert and Cantal Cheese with seasonal fruits. But I am tired and already full, so I give this one a miss and try to get some sleep. I think in our cabin nobody had the cheese.

Surprisingly, the seat turns out to be a lot more comfortable than expected. Even so, I think I would not want to have to endure a flight of 12 hours or so in one of these seats.

I manage to get some decent sleep. When I awaken again, we are only 80 minutes out of Amsterdam. One of the flight attendants notices I’m awake and asks if I’d like breakfast. Of course I do!
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050414.jpg

Breakfast consists of cold cuts and cheese, a bowl of fruit and a choice of either a Frittata or a pastries selection consisting of a cinnamon roll, croissant and a bun with butter and strawberry jam. With that I have a coffee and an orange juice.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050415.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050416.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050417.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050418.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050419.jpg

The scenery outside is spectacular and dramatic with low clouds and the early morning sun penetrating through the different levels of cloud to produce some spectacular effects.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050420.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050421.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050422.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050423.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050424.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050425.jpg

We land on runway 18R, that’s the far away one. They’re also doing approaches on the parallel runway 18C, which for us means an even longer taxi than usual as we have to taxi to the end of 18C and go around the threshold so as not to interfere with the landing aircraft.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050426.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050428.jpg

My possibly last MD-11 flight comes to an end and I really feel reluctant to get off the plane.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050430.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050431.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050432.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050433.jpg

The MD-11 was not a lucky aircraft and she was certainly no commercial success. But I also think she is better than her reputation. As for the MD-11 operation with KLM, I think it is quite apparent that without further heavy investment to upgrade the cabin of the aircraft, the airline will no longer have a competitive product here. Quite understandably, at this stage of the game though, it seems unlikely that the new KLM long-haul Business Class cabin will ever grace the inside of an MD-11.

As far as I am concerned, I think the MD-11, together with the MD-80, is a timeless and elegant classic and a testimony to the engineering abilities of McDonnell Douglas. And so, with a heavy heart, I bid my good byes to this excellent aircraft and disembark. Next stop: Basel.

A last glimpse from afar.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050437.jpg

Other traffic as I make my way through the airport.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050434.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050435.jpg
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
Posts: 1665
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:22 pm

Date: 20. July 2012
From: Amsterdam
To: Basel
Airline: KLM Cityhopper
Aircraft: Fokker 100
Cabin: Business Class
Seat: 1A


The end is nigh, not much longer to go and I'll be home.

AT THE AIRPORT
Amsterdam airport is tremendously busy at this time of day, it’s only just 07h00. As I still have a few hours before my next flight, I take a very leisurely stroll through the terminal complex. The Crown Lounge in the non-Schengen area is very busy, so I decide to head for immigration into the Schengen area. Immediately after passport control comes security, which is not too bad this morning.

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050438.jpg

THE LOUNGE
From there I head for the Crown Lounge in the Schengen area. And quite to me surprise, this one is nearly empty! The tricky bit will be trying to stay awake.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050439.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050440.jpg

Now this is where my recollection of the flight is getting patchy. I am rather bleary-eyed by now.

I took these by the B gates.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050441.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050442.jpg

THE CABIN
My first surprise comes when we pull up by the aircraft or the flight to Basel. Instead of the usual Fokker 70, we're standing before the larger Fokker 100. My second, not so nice surprise is that this must evidently be an ex-Regional bird. The cabin is in a terrible state, which however, it already was when the plane flew with Air France.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050443.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050444.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050445.jpg

Even the seat covers are different.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050448.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050449.jpg

Vintage.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050451.jpg

We take off in the opposite direction from our arrival earlier in the morning. This time, we are on 36C. As we climb out, I spot this Embraer taking off from 36L. Sorry about the blur.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050446.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050447.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050450.jpg

THE SERVICE
Probably service on this flight is the only mediocre experience with KLM I've had on this trip. The cabin crew consists of two young girls that both come across as being airheads. Nice airheads mind you, but a bit disorganised. By the time the manage to start the meal service, we're already south of Luxembourg!

THE MEAL
The meal consists of another nice box with a salad with mustard dressing, a choice between a cheese in raisin bread or vitello tonnato sandwich and, for dessert, quark with raspberry sauce.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050456.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050457.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050455.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050454.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050453.jpg

THE ARRIVAL
We approach the airport form the south. I seem to suffer from the curse of being seated on the wrong side on all my flights on this trip. I am on the left, the view of Basel is, of course, on the right.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050458.jpg

http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050459.jpg

As we come in over the threshold, I spot this and for a moment think they may have finally decided to do something with that derelict looking A340-600 that has been standing around for a while now.
http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m627/Knightsofmalta/Montreal%202012/P1050460.jpg

But as we turn onto the ramp it turns out this is another aircraft and the one I mean is still standing in the same place gathering weeds. Let's just hope a better faith befalls the white aircraft standing at the hangar.

Once we reach our parking position, I am first off the plane. Five minutes later I am sitting in a green bus, feeling seriously worse for wear, on my way home.

CLOSING REMARKS
And so, ladies and gentlemen, my experience in KLM Business Class with the MD-11 draws to an end. I hope you enjoyed it.

I for my part can only say I greatly enjoyed this trip and the KLM MD-11 experience. I think KLM offers a really sound product in terms of the professionalism of the crew and the quality and quantity of the food. The only draw back right now is their hardware, the seat. But by the looks of it, KLM is working on something new that will be revealed next year. The new cabin will first be introduced n the B747-400 fleet.

As for the MD-11, it is, in my view, one of the most handsome airliners every to grace the sky. Thanks for the fond memories!

William
 
A340600
Posts: 3892
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2003 10:24 pm

RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:30 pm

What a lovely writing style, your personality really shines through your words. I have always wanted to sample KLM and the MD-11, and hopefully will do so before too long.

340
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
 
gabrielchew
Posts: 3711
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 5:43 am

RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:32 pm

Nice report William -the MD11 is still missing from my log, so I guess I'll have to fly KL sooner or later!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
One thing I find very interesting is that where other airlines have a curtain to divide the cabin from the space by the front door and the cockpit, KLM has a sliding door. Strangely enough though, only on one aisle, the other side has a curtain.

That looks very strange - doesn't look good if you need a quick exit
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LGW-OPO-LGW,LHR-FCO-CTA-LIN-LCY,LHR-AMS-GRQ-SEN,LTN-CPH-LHR-ORD
 
LH526
Crew
Posts: 1960
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2000 2:23 am

RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:07 pm

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
That looks very strange - doesn't look good if you need a quick exit

I suppose that's caused by a try or table they install on the oither side to widen the area in the galley.
Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
 
Ideekay
Posts: 251
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:18 pm

RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:14 pm

Hey!

Nice to see the Triholer still in the air, but I heard that they will end this or next year, very sad  
But now the comments:

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):

My bird.

Motherfokker! Oops..  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The meal consists of an excellent fruit salad of apple, pineapple, grapes and melon; yoghurt of maracuja and orange; a selection of cheese with smoked meats and a small pot of marmalade; and two warm buns with that.

Yummie!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):

The runway that has its own tower.

Remembers me at Frankfurt but they have cameras for the new Runway

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I dump my carry-on and my briefcase in a locker, go through customs and head for the city.

No pics from the city?  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The MD-11 really is a quite a babe!

Yes she is

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
When I arrive, I am left well and truly speechless. The legroom available on row 1 is simply ridiculous!

There is even enough legroom to do some sports haha

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Aeroflot B767-300

A big bird for a not really long route!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
After this tasty meal

Seems like you had a very good service on the flight

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Chicken breast strips on a pasta salad with a tomato sugo. This is accompanied by a warm focaccia with mozzarella and tomato sauce. And for dessert a fruit Tiramisu.

Now its getting too much, I want also  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I am informed that the flying time will only be a short five hours and 48 minutes today and that the flight will be full in all classes.

Thats pretty short

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Breakfast consists of cold cuts and cheese, a bowl of fruit and a choice of either a Frittata or a pastries selection consisting of a cinnamon roll, croissant and a bun with butter and strawberry jam

Wooaaah!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):

A last glimpse from afar.

Jetways à Amsterdam   

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I took these by the B gates.

European-lineup

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Vintage.

Classic.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
As we come in over the threshold, I spot this and for a moment think they may have finally decided to do something with that derelict looking A340-600 that has been standing around for a while now.

Wasn't this the VIP-Plane?

I must say you had a very nice service & food and hopefully it was a pleasure to ride with the MD-11 as the passenger-version will gone soon!
Looking forward for more!

Greetings
Ideekay
 
LH4116
Posts: 1183
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 4:39 am

RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:48 pm

Hey William, another great report from you! The reports clearly seem to be coming from you at industrial paces, haha. But I suppose with the summer times, I have all time to catch up. I'm doing great btw  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
This time I’m heading for Montreal, Canada to present a paper at ICAO HQ. I like visiting ICAO. If you’re an aviation nerd like me, ICAO HQ is like some sacred place.

Interesting, I had always had in mind that you left the airline business for good?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
But I felt compelled to check my other options, to see if there might be any cool routings, airlines or types to get me to Montreal which might convince me to forfeit the comfort of a nonstop, direct flight.

Hehe, well you surely seem to deviate quite a lot from the average Business traveler!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
he connection from Basel via Amsterdam to Montreal was not ideal: a layover of seven hours on the outbound and another one of five hours on the inbound

7 hours of layover is quite a lot indeed, suppose those hours could've otherwise have been spent at home in the bed. Don't KLM operate any more departures during the day from BSL?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
But then she spots my Platinum tag and explains that I’m free to take everything on board with me.

Ah ha! Nice that those status tags finally serve some purpose, by providing recognition from the staff, and not just for "flashing"  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I must confess I am a bit impressed. This guy has obviously done his homework and checked the passenger list.

This seems to be the case on KLM these days. A good friend of mine flew with them to GRU from ARN via AMS, and he was addressed by name on all flights. My experiences from flying Biz aren't the best, but is it standard there days to be addressed by name on EU carriers in Biz?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Mr. A. will you be joining us for breakfast this morning?’

That's an interesting statement from the crew. Were she implying that they would also eat their breakfast later on in the galley, or just to sound more welcoming?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
One thing I find very interesting is that where other airlines have a curtain to divide the cabin from the space by the front door and the cockpit, KLM has a sliding door.

Lufthansa have also installed sliding doors as divider on their new First Class cabins installed on the Airbus widebodies. Although to me, it would make more sense to cut off Economy from Biz with a sliding door. But either way, it's nice that they block out noise and light from the galley, which I assume can be quite bothersome on night flights.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
This comes with a side order tomato salad. As the attendant places the tray before me, she offers me some cheese and croutons for topping on the salad.

Nice, so the salad is "made to order" by the crew, and not the generic plastic wrapped ones that many EU carriers seem to serve in Biz?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
The showers are very nice. As I enter, I am given a kit of l’Occitane cosmetics and a set of nice, fluffy towels.

Shower facilities look very nice, and I must say I'm very impressed by the amenity kit. For the record, the SWISS Biz lounge in ZRH didn't provide any shower kits whatsoever. Only the handsoap from dispensers attached to the wall was available, and mind you that soap didn't leave my skin feeling very nice!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
and asks if I would like a drink. Orange juice it is.

How come you skipped alcohol on all flights? Surely a glass of Champagne could've slipped down  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
One of the flight attendants notices I’m awake and asks if I’d like breakfast. Of course I do!

Hmm weren't you stuffed from dinner? At least given the very short flight time. But then again, if you managed Oman Air, KLM should be an easy match for you  

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
themit9
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:06 am

RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:26 am

William,

Thanks for posting this excellent report that brought back a lot of memories as I used to fly on KL from AMS-LOS regularly on KL587/588 back in the early 2000s and back then it was always the MD-11. It's a shame to see them going at the end of an era.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I am greeted at the door by a friendly young man in a sharp uniform – the purser of the flight. I place my briefcase in the overhead bin and take off my suit jacket. Before I even have the time to wonder where to place it, the purser stretches out his hand and takes it from me. ‘Shall I hang that up for you, Mr A.?’

I last flew with KLM in December 2002 but remember their crews as always being very professional, friendly and efficient. Making an effort to remember passengers names can really set airlines apart from the competition, even on a short flight.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
One thing I find very interesting is that where other airlines have a curtain to divide the cabin from the space by the front door and the cockpit, KLM has a sliding door. Strangely enough though, only on one aisle, the other side has a curtain.

I could be wrong about this but I thought these were added in 2001 just after 9/11 and always assumed that they had something to do with security, like having two layers of doors to get to the cockpit? Just speculation.

Thanks again for a great report,

themit9
 
767747
Posts: 2122
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:41 am

Really nice report on KLM in Business Class! Photos are really nice, and the documentation of your whole trip is really good!

I've read many reports about KLM's food quality - and this report really makes me impressed by the level of their food qualty, and plentiful portions! The breakfast on the return to AMS is quite impressive for an early morning flight into Europe.

Thanks for sharing!

Best,

Matthew (767747)
I love to fly!
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sat Jul 21, 2012 4:33 am

Hi William,

another good report with nice pictures! The MD-11 is certainly an exciting aircraft, I still remember well my first flight on it almost ten years ago.

The food on the long-haul flights looks fine in most cases, except for the main courses.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The meal consists of an excellent fruit salad of apple, pineapple, grapes and melon; yoghurt of maracuja and orange; a selection of cheese with smoked meats and a small pot of marmalade; and two warm buns with that.

The presentation in these boxes looks a bit cheap IMO.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I have a Ginger Ale, cheers Planehunter!

Cheers!    Good to see KL has the real one.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
And this is where I am reminded what I like so much about the MD-11: the acceleration, the power and – above all – the noise! Beautiful!

I have only heard it from the back - it has always been awesome!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
And then there is this rather intricate pattern, a recurring theme that you find on the tablecloth, the cutlery as well as the chinaware. It’s quite elegant I find and a nice detail.

  

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The meal consists of another nice box with a salad with mustard dressing, a choice between a cheese in raisin bread or vitello tonnato sandwich and, for dessert, quark with raspberry sauce.

Again I'm a bit disappointed by that meal service.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
As we come in over the threshold, I spot this and for a moment think they may have finally decided to do something with that derelict looking A340-600 that has been standing around for a while now.

The bird is getting prepared for GlobalJet Luxembourg.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
infodesk
Posts: 1462
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 11:06 pm

RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:16 am

Hi William,

Another super report. You're having a few nostalgic flight recently aren't you? BMI, the MD-11 plus the Fokker out of BSL. Just out of interest, did you compare the fares against ZRH-AMS-YUL? Would be interesting to see what the difference is.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I’ve been doing quite a bit of travelling lately, and like some trip down memory lane, I spot some of the types and airlines I recently had the pleasure of sampling.

I bet that by now you must have logged pretty much every airline/aircraft combo out of BSL!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
At least we have some good views of the city of Basel before doing a sharp right turn to point the aircraft in a northerly direction towards Amsterdam.

Lovely. Basel is still my favourite Swiss city.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The legroom available on row 1 is simply ridiculous! What’s more, there are no overhead bins over the middle row of seats, which only enhances the overall impression of space in the cabin.

Perfect. KL really know how to keep those old birds in good condition (except when they've come from AF  )

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Dessert: lemon tart on a digestive biscuit base, served with strawberries.

All the food on your flights looks excellent. I bet that lemon tart though was out of this world! The crockery & in particular cutlery are just divine. The amenity kits are also rather nice. What was in them?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
The showers are very nice. As I enter, I am given a kit of l’Occitane cosmetics and a set of nice, fluffy towels.

L'Occitane goodies, very nice. The shower room looks awful though IMO, what's with the brick walls?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I am informed that the flying time will only be a short five hours and 48 minutes today and that the flight will be full in all classes.

Wow, that's fast.

Happy flying
Infodesk   
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
 
nethkt
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:27 am

WOW! Amazing trip report n KLM Business class!!

Love their famous design for the catering and cutlery, very well done. Even boxes are neatly designed.

MD11 has been my favourite aircraft (by the look of it) for so long. To cross the atlantic with it in business class is even sweeter.

Love your Rimowa Topas Cabin Trolley   it will be my next Rimowa after 29" new deluxe and 26" Salsa  

net-hkt
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
Burj
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:39 am

Great trip report!

I noticed that in the very first meal box the card said it was roast beef but it looks a lot like turkey to me! Was it really roast beef?

The Air France lounge in YUL is indeed my favorite Air France lounge! They had some of the BEST cheese there I've ever had and I too noticed how nice the towels were that they give you for the shower. I also appreciated that the set of towels came in a sealed plastic bag!
 
MEA330
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:42 am

Great TR.
Looks like this white A340-600 is owned by the Jordanian Government and previously was in full Royal Jordanian colors.
 
Burj
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:12 am

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
It’s also my first experience with a naked scanner.

At AMS you can opt out of going through the scanner and they will pat you down instead and the pat down is not nearly as invasive as you get in the USA from the thousands standing around (TSA).
 
lukeyboy95
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:41 pm

Hi William,

A thoroughly enjoyable report - many thanks.

Well - kudos for getting on that beautiful a/c. And I am impressed to see that KLM is keeping up so well with the neighbours in many respects. It looked quite excellent.

I am considering RUH-AMS-CDG-EDI with KL/AF but am still afraid of the brand. I've just seen so many mediocre accounts of the service. Still, can't judge it till I've tried it eh!

Some beautiful scenes on your return leg too, especially coming in over the coast. Always beautiful.

Regds


Luke
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
jwhite9185
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:45 pm

Another good report there - you're certainly keeping me entertained today!

Good to see KLM have a decent product as I'm travelling with them in a few weeks.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 3):
As we come in over the threshold, I spot this and for a moment think they may have finally decided to do something with that derelict looking A340-600 that has been standing around for a while now.

Could Very well have been ex G-VSHY of VS as this one was painted into all white like that one before it left the fleet a few weeks ago.
@mytripreport
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:59 am

Hello all,

Thanks for all the comments.

Quoting A340600 (Reply 4):
What a lovely writing style, your personality really shines through your words.

That's a relief, thanks. I wrote most of the report in the lounge in Amsterdam on my way back, just to keep me awake. Afterwards I wasn't even sure any more if I'd been coherent or not.

Quoting A340600 (Reply 4):
I have always wanted to sample KLM and the MD-11, and hopefully will do so before too long.
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
Nice report William -the MD11 is still missing from my log, so I guess I'll have to fly KL sooner or later!

Just don't wait too long. I hear one flight attendant say to a passenger that the last one will be gone by then end of 2014, although I always assumed they'd keep them flying til 2016.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
That looks very strange - doesn't look good if you need a quick exit

It's a sliding door, they open it for take-off and landing.

Quoting lh526 (Reply 6):
I suppose that's caused by a try or table they install on the oither side to widen the area in the galley.
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Lufthansa have also installed sliding doors as divider on their new First Class cabins installed on the Airbus widebodies. Although to me, it would make more sense to cut off Economy from Biz with a sliding door. But either way, it's nice that they block out noise and light from the galley, which I assume can be quite bothersome on night flights.
Quoting themit9 (Reply 9):
I could be wrong about this but I thought these were added in 2001 just after 9/11 and always assumed that they had something to do with security, like having two layers of doors to get to the cockpit? Just speculation.

I'm not sure what it's for. KLM do not have a galley by the front doors and in actual fact, the flight attendants did not once go back there during the service. From What I could tell they only ever went that way when they were heading for the cockpit to bring the flight crew their meal.

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 7):
Nice to see the Triholer still in the air, but I heard that they will end this or next year, very sad
Quoting themit9 (Reply 9):
. It's a shame to see them going at the end of an era.

That really is very sad. I remember when Swiss decommissioned its last MD-11. What a sad event that was.

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 7):
Remembers me at Frankfurt but they have cameras for the new Runway

Really? Isn't that a bit risky? What do they do if one of the cameras goes U.S.?

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 7):
There is even enough legroom to do some sports haha

...which would not have been such a bad idea after all the food they gave us!

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 7):
Jetways à Amsterdam

I'd love to try one of those one day. I also think it would be tremendously cool of the jetway were made of glass!

Quoting Ideekay (Reply 7):
Wasn't this the VIP-Plane?
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
The bird is getting prepared for GlobalJet Luxembourg.
Quoting MEA330 (Reply 15):
Looks like this white A340-600 is owned by the Jordanian Government and previously was in full Royal Jordanian colors.
Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 18):
Could Very well have been ex G-VSHY of VS as this one was painted into all white like that one before it left the fleet a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately the plane was too far away for me to get the registration, sorry guys!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
The reports clearly seem to be coming from you at industrial paces, haha. But I suppose with the summer times, I have all time to catch up. I'm doing great btw

Sorry about that Jonas. My next trip will not be for another two weeks, so I'll leave you in pace until then!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Interesting, I had always had in mind that you left the airline business for good?

I have, perhaps you mean IATA instead? ICAO is responsible for everything to do with civil aviation, not just the airlines.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Hehe, well you surely seem to deviate quite a lot from the average Business traveler!

My secretary recently told me she stopped wondering about my travel habits a long time ago...

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
7 hours of layover is quite a lot indeed, suppose those hours could've otherwise have been spent at home in the bed. Don't KLM operate any more departures during the day from BSL?

Right now it's only two flights with a Fokker 70. They'll be switching to the Embraer from the winter schedule. But perhaps if thing continue like this, they may want to consider introducing a third flight.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Ah ha! Nice that those status tags finally serve some purpose, by providing recognition from the staff, and not just for "flashing"

Interesting you should say that. I really do think it's the first time those things were every of any use to me.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
This seems to be the case on KLM these days. A good friend of mine flew with them to GRU from ARN via AMS, and he was addressed by name on all flights. My experiences from flying Biz aren't the best, but is it standard there days to be addressed by name on EU carriers in Biz?

Yesterday on my way back from London with BA, the flight attendant addressed me by name every time. With Swiss it really depends on the crew, even on long-haul flights.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
That's an interesting statement from the crew. Were she implying that they would also eat their breakfast later on in the galley, or just to sound more welcoming?

That's an interesting point actually. Semantically, you're quite right of course. But as you say, the pragmatic implicature is to sound more inviting by suggesting inclusion.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Nice, so the salad is "made to order" by the crew, and not the generic plastic wrapped ones that many EU carriers seem to serve in Biz?

That's it exactly. It was no big deal, but a nice touch for sure!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Shower facilities look very nice, and I must say I'm very impressed by the amenity kit. For the record, the SWISS Biz lounge in ZRH didn't provide any shower kits whatsoever. Only the handsoap from dispensers attached to the wall was available, and mind you that soap didn't leave my skin feeling very nice!

The shower experience was quite a surprise for me as well. As you say, in most cases it the soap dispenser stuck on the wall and not your own personal kit.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
How come you skipped alcohol on all flights? Surely a glass of Champagne could've slipped down

I only very rarely drink alcohol on planes. At altitude it tends to give me a headache rather easily, even when it's not plonk.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Hmm weren't you stuffed from dinner? At least given the very short flight time. But then again, if you managed Oman Air, KLM should be an easy match for you

You see, I did it for you guys, to have the complete experience....

Quoting themit9 (Reply 9):
I last flew with KLM in December 2002 but remember their crews as always being very professional, friendly and efficient. Making an effort to remember passengers names can really set airlines apart from the competition, even on a short flight.

I think the high level of professionalism is what impressed me most.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 10):
I've read many reports about KLM's food quality - and this report really makes me impressed by the level of their food qualty, and plentiful portions!

Really the only thing I didn't like was that one of the chicken breasts still had the skin on it.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 10):
The breakfast on the return to AMS is quite impressive for an early morning flight into Europe.

Certainly more substantial than what most carriers give you these days.
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:24 am

Sorry, I had to divide my reply in two before I time out.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
The MD-11 is certainly an exciting aircraft, I still remember well my first flight on it almost ten years ago.

I bet. It's an experience not so easily forgotten!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
The presentation in these boxes looks a bit cheap IMO.

Unfortunately, that seems to be the fashion these days. Lufthansa has more or less the same thing and so does SAS.
At lest BA still have trays.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 13):
Even boxes are neatly designed.

I tend to agree, at least the design of the box is nice.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
Cheers! Good to see KL has the real one.

Somehow I figured you might say that.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
I have only heard it from the back -

That's even better!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 12):
You're having a few nostalgic flight recently aren't you? BMI, the MD-11 plus the Fokker out of BSL.

You noticed! I like a bit of nostalgia, especially when it comes to flying!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 12):
Just out of interest, did you compare the fares against ZRH-AMS-YUL? Would be interesting to see what the difference is.

They were more or less the same, just a bit higher because of the higher taxes in Zurich. But nothing significant.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 12):
I bet that by now you must have logged pretty much every airline/aircraft combo out of BSL!

Getting there!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 12):
Lovely. Basel is still my favourite Swiss city.

Ma'am, I salute you! You certainly have got good taste!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 12):
Perfect. KL really know how to keep those old birds in good condition (except when they've come from AF )

And what exactly is it you're implying by that wink?

Quoting infodesk (Reply 12):
All the food on your flights looks excellent. I bet that lemon tart though was out of this world! The crockery & in particular cutlery are just divine. The amenity kits are also rather nice. What was in them?

You know, I was sure the cutlery would accidentally fall into by briefcase. But then the crew were so nice, I started to develop something remotely resembling scruples.

The vanity kit was pretty standard. But it did also include a small KLM pen!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 12):
L'Occitane goodies, very nice. The shower room looks awful though IMO, what's with the brick walls?

You know the brick walls in the Swiss office on Paradeplatz or in the lounges in Zurich? I think they wanted to go with that kind of an effect but got it screwed up. At least that's what it looked like. But it was a very clean shower.

Quoting nethkt (Reply 13):
MD11 has been my favourite aircraft (by the look of it) for so long. To cross the atlantic with it in business class is even sweeter.

I don't blame you. Such a gracious bird!

Quoting nethkt (Reply 13):
Love your Rimowa Topas Cabin Trolley it will be my next Rimowa after 29" new deluxe and 26" Salsa

I find it's just the right size, especially if you're on business and need to take a suit etc.

Quoting burj (Reply 14):
I noticed that in the very first meal box the card said it was roast beef but it looks a lot like turkey to me! Was it really roast beef?

The crew said it was veal. Whatever it was, I liked it!

Quoting burj (Reply 14):
The Air France lounge in YUL is indeed my favorite Air France lounge! They had some of the BEST cheese there I've ever had and I too noticed how nice the towels were that they give you for the shower. I also appreciated that the set of towels came in a sealed plastic bag!

Oh bugger, I love cheese! I should have stayed! And you're quite right about the sealed towels. I rather like that as well.

Quoting burj (Reply 16):
At AMS you can opt out of going through the scanner and they will pat you down instead and the pat down is not nearly as invasive as you get in the USA from the thousands standing around (TSA).

The woman in front of me did that. To be honest I'm not quite sure what the big deal is.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 17):
I am considering RUH-AMS-CDG-EDI with KL/AF but am still afraid of the brand. I've just seen so many mediocre accounts of the service. Still, can't judge it till I've tried it eh!

As long as you avoid Air France you should be fine. They really are a totally screwed operation as far as I can tell. But KLM is a completely different kettle of fish!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 17):
Some beautiful scenes on your return leg too, especially coming in over the coast. Always beautiful.

The approach into Amsterdam was amazing. I've never seen such light. The clouds looked as though they were illuminated from below.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 18):
Good to see KLM have a decent product as I'm travelling with them in a few weeks.

Excellent! Where you off to, if I may ask?

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to comment. It's much appreciated.

Cheers,
William
 
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airkas1
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:25 am

Very nice report, I really enjoyed reading it and looking at your photos!
Airliners.net Crew - Photo Screener
 
Knightsofmalta
Topic Author
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:04 pm

Hi Airkas1

Quoting airkas1 (Reply 21):
Very nice report, I really enjoyed reading it and looking at your photos!

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the report. Making it was rather fun too, I must say!

Cheers,
William
 
jwhite9185
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:48 pm

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 20):
Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 18):
Good to see KLM have a decent product as I'm travelling with them in a few weeks.

Excellent! Where you off to, if I may ask?

Nowhere too exciting - just a small hop from LHR to AMS - one of those flights that are over before you've even got on!
@mytripreport
 
Knightsofmalta
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:10 pm

Hi James

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 23):
Nowhere too exciting - just a small hop from LHR to AMS - one of those flights that are over before you've even got on!

I dunno, I usually find the prospect of getting on a plane sufficiently exciting. No matter where I'm going!

By the way, yesterday (Saturday) I was in Heathrow waiting for my flight to Basel. At around 18h30 I spotted two KLM F.70s taxiing to departure behind each other. I thought this was rather strange, I guess they were both heading for Amsterdam.

Cheers,
William
 
sultanils
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:32 am

Hello William my friend!

What a most enjoyable read your have made again! It’s a most wonderful tribute to this lovely MD-11 aurcraft. Kudos to KLM in the 2nd place for giving us a.netters an most viable alternative to travel to Montréal   I agree with you on the excellent service level that is provided by the KLM crews. Although I have only sampled them on short shorthauls, I can only agree to your findings. Also the cabin on both the Fokker and the MD-11 looks great with the blue tones.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
This time I’m heading for Montreal, Canada to present a paper at ICAO HQ.

Somehow this makes me feel your profession lies somewhere in the airline business?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
But by the looks of it, the type no longer serves that route.

Wasn’t it scheduled throughout the summer season. I guess the demand for that route will justify the use of the A380.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
most probably my last chance ever to secure one last flight on the MD-11

Doesn’t it break our enthusiast’s heart to see this type leave the skies 
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
To listen to me you’d never guess I’m only 37 and not some grumpy old bastard!

Hey, you’re the same age as me. And I’m not grumpy either  

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
But then she spots my Platinum tag and explains that I’m free to take everything on board with me.

Quite refreshing to see that this gate agents actually knows ‘the rules’. Is it a Swiss thing maybe?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The runway that has its own tower.

The ‘Polderbaan’ for you.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
So eventually I have no choice but to move to the next machine and try my luck again there. This time it works!

The machine had a ‘bad hair day’ as well I guess.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
It’s also my first experience with a naked scanner.

How was it   

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
One thing I find very interesting is that where other airlines have a curtain to divide the cabin from the space by the front door and the cockpit, KLM has a sliding door. Strangely enough though, only on one aisle, the other side has a curtain.

How come you always notice these subtle things? Although a sliding door is not exactly a ‘subtle’ item of course   Didn’t they only use the curtain side and left the door shot or... ?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
And then there is this rather intricate pattern, a recurring theme that you find on the tablecloth, the cutlery as well as the chinaware. It’s quite elegant I find and a nice detail.

Very nice cutlery indeed. Do you use it now for your meals at home  

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
As far as I am concerned, I think the MD-11, together with the MD-80, is a timeless and elegant classic and a testimony to the engineering abilities of McDonnell Douglas.

Agreed!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I took these by the B gates.

That’s a nice collection of Eurotails. Hey there’s a Transavia there as well!

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
Knightsofmalta
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:25 am

Hi Nils

Quoting sultanils (Reply 25):
What a most enjoyable read your have made again! It’s a most wonderful tribute to this lovely MD-11 aurcraft.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm a sucker for a bit of nostalgia!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 25):
Somehow this makes me feel your profession lies somewhere in the airline business?

Funny you should say so, that's what Jonas said as well. But no, I left the airline industry four years ago. You see, ICAO covers all of civil aviation, not just the airlines.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 25):
Wasn’t it scheduled throughout the summer season. I guess the demand for that route will justify the use of the A380.

I think it still operates to Montreal, but not on a daily basis. It's all rather confusing I find.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 25):
Doesn’t it break our enthusiast’s heart to see this type leave the skies

And how. But alas, nothing lasts for every. Not even to sturdy MD-11.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 25):
Hey, you’re the same age as me. And I’m not grumpy either

Well that's a relief! Cheers mate!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 25):
The ‘Polderbaan’ for you.

I always found that rather strange of the Dutch to give their runways names.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 25):
The machine had a ‘bad hair day’ as well I guess.

Either that or it just didn't like me personally.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 25):
How was it

Please NIls, let a man have his secrets...

Quoting sultanils (Reply 25):
How come you always notice these subtle things? Although a sliding door is not exactly a ‘subtle’ item of course Didn’t they only use the curtain side and left the door shot or... ?

The door remained closed for the entire duration of the flight. So did the curtain actually, except when they brought food to the cockpit.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 25):
Very nice cutlery indeed. Do you use it now for your meals at home

You know, I think I may well have redeemed my sins and secured a place in heaven with that cutlery. I already had the spoon and the fork 'accidentally' fall into my seat next to me. But then I somehow I decided it was not a nice way of showing my appreciation to the crew for their great service. So I put everything back.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 25):
That’s a nice collection of Eurotails. Hey there’s a Transavia there as well!

Transavia is cool. They may have shitty leg room, but I think they're cool.

Thanks for taking the time to comment Nils!

Cheers,
William
 
MSS658
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:35 pm

Hello William

Great report, thanks for sharing it with us.
The MD11 looks great, it was a rare catch for sure.
KL should start updating their J product IMO, it's starting to get behind on it's competitiors.
I took the same flight back in 2010 in Y. Here is my version.
A Ride With A Rare Blue Bird! (by MSS658 Oct 31 2010 in Trip Reports)


Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
megatop
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:36 am

What a great trip repport. I also loves the MD-11. Have recorded 4 flights on her. 2 with Finnair and 2 with Garuda. All four flights in economy.

Have only one time been on a KLM fligh. It was a B747-400 Combi from Jakarta via Singapore to Amsterdam back in october 2000. The flight was ok, but the seats in row 30 was without windows.  .

My family and I has booked a KLM/Air France flight from Billund DK to Los Angeles next spring. The flight to LAX is on KLM F70 and B747-400. The homeflight is on AF A380 to CDG. Then on to AMS on BLL on AF/KLM.

Megatop
 
dc9northwest
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:33 pm

Hi William, great report!

I'll be travelling on the MD-11 to YUL myself in a couple of months, albeit in economy, so it's good to see your report!

In general, KLM seems to have delivered--yeah, it doesn't seem like they have the best business class product/seats, but IMO their service is very good even in economy. At least, most of the time.

Anyway, thanks a lot for writing this up!

-Alex
 
deltamartin
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:29 pm

Hi William!

Nice report, and sure a good idea to do another trip on the MD11. I'm lucky enough to have 4 flights logged on the bird, all on AY. Last time was -05, so my aviation interest wasn't what it is today, but I was well aware of the fact that I was on an MD11. I didn't really like the bird either due to some issues with the APU, causing a delay when we were suppose to depart JFK. Still, today I am very glad to have logged the type, and other than the APU issues I seem to recall that it was a rather nice plane to fly!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
most probably my last chance ever to secure one last flight on the MD-11 before she is withdrawn from service with the Dutch airline.

Yeah, as I mentioned, good idea!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The seat next to me is kept empty.

Interesting to see that KL CH blocks off a seat on the 2-seater side on the Fokker. SK doesn't block any seat on the 2-seater side of the MD80, sadly.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
One thing I find very interesting is that where other airlines have a curtain to divide the cabin from the space by the front door and the cockpit, KLM has a sliding door. Strangely enough though, only on one aisle, the other side has a curtain.

Interesting indeed, I thought the curtains were there as proper doors would make it more difficult in case of evacuation.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
As far as I am concerned, I think the MD-11, together with the MD-80, is a timeless and elegant classic and a testimony to the engineering abilities of McDonnell Douglas.

Nice to see you mentioning the MD80.  
But I agree, both are beautiful machines.

Martin
 
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falstaff
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:12 pm

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I like visiting ICAO. If you’re an aviation nerd like me, ICAO HQ is like some sacred place.

I was there in 2010 and it is cool. I stayed across the street from IATA, at the Hilton.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
From: Basel

Interesting photos of BSL. I have a friend who lives in Rhienfelden and when I have visited I have flown to ZRH, but BSL is much closer. My buddy and his wife work in Basel so it isn't out of the way for them to pick me up.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
some good views of the city of Basel

You can see my friend's office building in that photo.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:07 pm

Hi William,

great report on the MD11, definitely a great aircraft to fly. I logged 4 flights on this type, all with a lot of good memories.
My friend is FA on the KL M11's and she told me that the cabin crew hate this type to work on. They're happy about the retirement from later this year.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
She may be old, but time and some TLC by KLM maintenance have been kind to her. Even so, I can’t wait for the Embraer to come on this route with the beginning of the winter schedule.

Give me the F70 any day above E190, I didn't like my flight on KLC's E190 recently.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Before I even have the time to wonder where to place it, the purser stretches out his hand and takes it from me. ‘Shall I hang that up for you, Mr A.?’

Well, this is to me a usual occurence on KL. All my KL J-flights (Europe and Longhaul) I was addressed by name when crew was asking me questions.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The weather in Amsterdam is not too hot. It’s drizzling, with low cloud and bad visibility.

Looks not that bad, judging from the pix,

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
It’s also my first experience with a naked scanner.

You can opt out in case you dislike. But that would mean shoes off in AMS.

Meals look good. You say a strong point, I think so too. But KLM's meals are deep frozen and some people with knowledge about catering, say that quality is something to be questioned about KLM's food offering.
Still, I think they do a good job here. I always like my flights on them. Only waiting for an updated product (seating)

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
Knightsofmalta
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:54 am

Hi Marc, Megatop, Alex, Martin, Falstaff and Eric

Thanks for your comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the report.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 27):
The MD11 looks great, it was a rare catch for sure.

Yes, she's an attractive looking bird. Pity they don't build them like that any more.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 27):
KL should start updating their J product IMO, it's starting to get behind on it's competitiors.
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
Meals look good. You say a strong point, I think so too. But KLM's meals are deep frozen and some people with knowledge about catering, say that quality is something to be questioned about KLM's food offering.
Still, I think they do a good job here. I always like my flights on them. Only waiting for an updated product (seating)

Right now they're kind of in an in between state. The new B777-300 they received have the same Business Class seat as Air France. Mind it has a 2-3-2 configuration which I don't much fancy, but at least the seat is angled-flat.

From what I understand, a new seat is being rolled out on the B747-400 next year I believe. Haven't seen any pictures of it yet, though.

Quoting megatop (Reply 28):
I also loves the MD-11. Have recorded 4 flights on her. 2 with Finnair and 2 with Garuda. All four flights in economy.
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 30):
I'm lucky enough to have 4 flights logged on the bird, all on AY.

I would have loved to try the Garuda MD-11. I remember seeing the Thai Airways, Mandarin Airways and Garuda MD-11s standing side by side at Zurich's terminal B! My experiences with the MD-11, apart from KLM, have been with Swissair, Swiss, Thai Airways and China Eastern.

Quoting megatop (Reply 28):
The flight was ok, but the seats in row 30 was without windows.

I hate it when that happens. Especially when you specifically ask for a window seat!

Quoting megatop (Reply 28):
My family and I has booked a KLM/Air France flight from Billund DK to Los Angeles next spring. The flight to LAX is on KLM F70 and B747-400. The homeflight is on AF A380 to CDG. Then on to AMS on BLL on AF/KLM.

That's quite a trek, sounds like fun! May we expect a trip report?

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 29):
I'll be travelling on the MD-11 to YUL myself in a couple of months, albeit in economy, so it's good to see your report!

If you don't mind all the other people watching and thinking you're weird, please give her a nice pat from me. The cool thing about sitting in Economy is that you get to see all the wing/flap action!

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 29):
In general, KLM seems to have delivered--yeah, it doesn't seem like they have the best business class product/seats, but IMO their service is very good even in economy. At least, most of the time.

I fully agree. I really don't think I have never had a bad experience on KLM.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 29):
Anyway, thanks a lot for writing this up!

My pleasure!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 30):
Interesting to see that KL CH blocks off a seat on the 2-seater side on the Fokker. SK doesn't block any seat on the 2-seater side of the MD80, sadly.

I didn't know that. What about the B737 on SAS. Surely they block the middle seat there?

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 30):
Interesting indeed, I thought the curtains were there as proper doors would make it more difficult in case of evacuation.

I guess if there's a mechanism to secure the door and prevent it from moving it shouldn't be a problem.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 30):
Nice to see you mentioning the MD80.

You noticed!

Quoting falstaff (Reply 31):
Interesting photos of BSL. I have a friend who lives in Rhienfelden and when I have visited I have flown to ZRH, but BSL is much closer. My buddy and his wife work in Basel so it isn't out of the way for them to pick me up.

The distance between Basel and Zurich is a bit unfortunate. It's too short for a flight, but by train it's still 90 minutes, even though the distance is less than 90km.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 31):
You can see my friend's office building in that photo.

Oh I see, he's with one of the pharmaceuticals?

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
My friend is FA on the KL M11's and she told me that the cabin crew hate this type to work on. They're happy about the retirement from later this year.

That's funny you should say that. I was talking to the flight attendant on the way back and she said the cabin crew have a mixed opinion of the aircraft. Some really hat working on it and can't wait to see the MD-11 leave the fleet and others, like her, just love the plane. She did also say though that a lot of that had to do with the routes the aircraft now serves.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
Give me the F70 any day above E190, I didn't like my flight on KLC's E190 recently.

Why, what happened?

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
Well, this is to me a usual occurence on KL. All my KL J-flights (Europe and Longhaul) I was addressed by name when crew was asking me questions.

That's what I like about KLM. On Swiss for example (my pet peeve), they should also address you by name. They only very rarely do though!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
You can opt out in case you dislike. But that would mean shoes off in AMS.

That's what the woman ahead of me did. Can't see what the big deal is really.

Well gents, thanks for taking the time to comment. It's much appreciated!

Cheers,
William
 
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:03 pm

Hi again!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 33):
I didn't know that. What about the B737 on SAS. Surely they block the middle seat there?

Yup, the middle seat is blocked, also on the 3-seater side on the MD80. Hence, if you ever find yourself choosing seat for a Business class flight on an SK MD80, take one on the right hand side of the aisle, for extra comfort!  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 33):
You noticed!

Of course! And I'm very much looking forward to my MD80 flight ARN-GOT in 2 days!

Martin
 
okapi
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:38 pm

Wow! The MD11 and the Fokker Jet all together. These planes were top notch in the 90's but they still ply their trade with grace as their retirement days are closing in.

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
As far as I am concerned, I think the MD-11, together with the MD-80, is a timeless and elegant classic and a testimony to the engineering abilities of McDonnell Douglas.

I fully agree. On top of that, your writing style is a perfect excuse for a nice read. Food looks exceedingly good on KL J product. I have the feeling they've improved over the years. The AF Lounge at YUL is definitely worth a visit, as well as the city, of course. I've always flet the difference between AF and KL is crew service consistency. Your report shows it clearly.

Thanks for sharing!
 
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:28 pm

Nice TR. I enjoyed reading it!
 
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falstaff
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:31 pm

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 33):
Oh I see, he's with one of the pharmaceuticals?

Yes. He and his wife have doctorate degrees in chemistry. He works in the pharmaceutical business and his wife works in the makeup business.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:07 pm

Hi Martin

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 34):
Yup, the middle seat is blocked, also on the 3-seater side on the MD80. Hence, if you ever find yourself choosing seat for a Business class flight on an SK MD80, take one on the right hand side of the aisle, for extra comfort!

Thanks for the advice, I didn't know that!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 34):
Of course! And I'm very much looking forward to my MD80 flight ARN-GOT in 2 days!

Oh yes, sure, that's right, go on, rub it in! But seriously, I hope and I am sure you will enjoy your flight. I'll keep my fingers crossed you don't have a short notice aircraft change. That seems to happen rather often on flights to Zurich.

Hi Okapi

Quoting okapi (Reply 35):
These planes were top notch in the 90's but they still ply their trade with grace as their retirement days are closing in.

Indeed, and how very nicely phrased.

Quoting okapi (Reply 35):

I fully agree. On top of that, your writing style is a perfect excuse for a nice read

Oh, thanks!

Quoting okapi (Reply 35):
The AF Lounge at YUL is definitely worth a visit, as well as the city, of course.

Absolutely, I think Montreal is my favourite city in North America. The weather was lovely this time. The day before the speech I had a working meeting on one of those Bateaux Mouches that take you around the harbour. Very serene.

Quoting okapi (Reply 35):
I've always flet the difference between AF and KL is crew service consistency. Your report shows it clearly.

I think you're probably right there. Although I must also say in Air France's defence that their cabin crew have improved a lot in recent years and have a lot less attitude.

Quoting okapi (Reply 35):
Thanks for sharing!

My pleasure!

Martin, Okapi, thanks for commenting!

Cheers,
William

[Edited 2012-07-27 11:53:45]
 
okapi
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:44 pm

My pleasure too. And you're right about AF. I've never had a single bad experience with them although I've noticed the difference with KLM. I guess in the end, keeping the two companies separated was a good idea. And yes, the AF crew have improved a lot lately.
I shall miss the MD11 as much as the DC10. They were great aircraft that made history.

Best.
 
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:18 am

Hi dcaviation, hi Falstaff

Sorry, I missed your posts yesterday!

Quoting dcaviation (Reply 36):
Nice TR. I enjoyed reading it!

Thank you, that's always good to hear!

Quoting falstaff (Reply 37):
Yes. He and his wife have doctorate degrees in chemistry. He works in the pharmaceutical business and his wife works in the makeup business.

That sounds like a very typical set up. I like it, I find it gives the city an international touch. And basically, if it weren't for the pharma industry, Basel would just a village.

Hi again Okapi!

Quoting okapi (Reply 39):
I guess in the end, keeping the two companies separated was a good idea.

Actually, sometimes I wonder how long before the two airlines decide to go their separate ways.

Quoting okapi (Reply 39):
I shall miss the MD11 as much as the DC10. They were great aircraft that made history.

That reminds me, as you speak of the MD-11 and the DC-10: quite surprisingly, on both the flights I took to and from Montreal the window shades had 'DC-10' written in very small font on the flat bit you hold to pull down the shade! I'm assuming this means they were previously installed on KLM's DC-10s.

Thanks for commenting guys!

Cheers,
William
 
SR 103
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:00 am

Thanks for a fantastic report William. I am not sure if you know, but I do have a soft spot for KLM. I don't get to fly them at all these days so your trip report brought back quite a few memories for me.

Its great to see you enjoyed the MD-11. The aircraft is becoming rarer by the day and there wont be too many more chances to try it out. Its good to see the soft product is still very strong at KLM. That combined with AMS were the major reasons I used pick KLM over the competition when I had the choice. I'm also glad to see they have kept the Delft Blue Houses, despite all the cost cutting going on in the industry.

Your report got me thinking about doing one last KLM MD-11 trip. If only I was not so frustrated with Flying Blue these days!

Looking forward to more of your adventures.
 
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:40 pm

Hi SR103

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 41):
Thanks for a fantastic report William.

Thank you, glad you liked it.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 41):
I am not sure if you know, but I do have a soft spot for KLM. I don't get to fly them at all these days so your trip report brought back quite a few memories for me.

I don't blame you! The more I travel with KLM, the more I like them too. So far my only bad experience with them was trying to get my boarding pass for the Montreal flight printed. Other than that, I've never had anything to complain about them.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 41):
Its great to see you enjoyed the MD-11. The aircraft is becoming rarer by the day and there wont be too many more chances to try it out.

I looked up the MD-11 on Wikipedia, and by the looks of it, KLM is the only operator of the passengers version left that offers scheduled flights. So sad.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 41):
That combined with AMS were the major reasons I used pick KLM over the competition when I had the choice.

Amsterdam is one of my favourite airports. It's so easy to transfer through and even when there are loads of people it rarely feels crowded.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 41):
Delft Blue Houses, despite all the cost cutting going on in the industry.

Those houses have cult status. They even give you a booklet for you to tick the ones you already have.

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 41):
Your report got me thinking about doing one last KLM MD-11 trip. If only I was not so frustrated with Flying Blue these days!

I think you should, before she's gone for good. What's up with Flying Blue?

Quoting SR 103 (Reply 41):
Looking forward to more of your adventures.

Thanks, I'll do my best!

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Cheers,
William
 
adamspotter
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:11 pm

Hello there again William  

Finaly got time to read this report being back from my vacation, was looking forward to it.
Anyway excellent report as usual, very entertaining! KLMs service looks quite good, especially the food!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I%u2019m off again

You're always off hehe (sorry, I guess i'm just jealous )

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Even so, there was one very convincing argument for me to choose the KLM option just the same: most probably my last chance ever to secure one last flight on the MD-11

That was a very good decision you made there!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
and watching the mindless music clips of equally mindless pieces of music they%u2019re showing on MTV. To listen to me you%u2019d never guess I%u2019m only 37 and not some grumpy old bastard! But enough of that%u2026

hehe, MTV not your style I guess  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
And even a BMI A319 in the original colours

Always nice to catch the old livery

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
At least we have some good views of the city of Basel

Some very nice views indeed!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The meal consists of an excellent fruit salad of apple, pineapple, grapes and melon; yoghurt of maracuja and orange; a selection of cheese with smoked meats and a small pot of marmalade; and two warm buns with that.

Looks quite tasty

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The weather in Amsterdam is not too hot. It%u2019s drizzling, with low cloud and bad visibility.

Typcal dutch weather!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
The runway that has its own tower.

and a verrrryyy long taxi  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
And then finally I am in the gate and I have an intimate moment with the hot bird taking me to Canada this afternoon. The MD-11 really is a quite a babe!

Such a beauty!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
I had no idea they operated those to Amsterdam as well.

Was quite surprised to see that too that day, come to think of it I saw your aircraft at the gate while passing by on the bus!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
And then, as we begin our descent, the cabin come through the cabin with a small farewell gift. It's quite well-known by now across the world: a little delft house filled with BOLS.

A very nice farewell gift IMO

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Thread starter):
Strangely enough there does not seem to be any sort of immigration, just a guy standing in the middle of the aisle who wants to see my passport and then that%u2019s it. I have left the country.

I had the same experience at YYZ last week..

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
As sun begins to set outside, casting everything is a lovely red glow, the meal service starts.

Beautiful sunset

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 3):
Surprisingly, the seat turns out to be a lot more comfortable than expected. Even so, I think I would not want to have to endure a flight of 12 hours or so in one of these seats.

I barely got any sleep in that seat last week when flying YYZ-AMS, but then of course I am 2m tall  
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 3):
I seem to suffer from the curse of being seated on the wrong side on all my flights on this trip.

I seem to have that same curse too

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 3):
As we come in over the threshold, I spot this and for a moment think they may have finally decided to do something with that derelict looking A340-600 that has been standing around for a while now.
Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 3):
But as we turn onto the ramp it turns out this is another aircraft and the one I mean is still standing in the same place gathering weeds. Let's just hope a better faith befalls the white aircraft standing at the hangar.

Thats too bad!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 3):
I for my part can only say I greatly enjoyed this trip and the KLM MD-11 experience. I think KLM offers a really sound product in terms of the professionalism of the crew and the quality and quantity of the food. The only draw back right now is their hardware, the seat.

Exactly my opinion!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 3):
As for the MD-11, it is, in my view, one of the most handsome airliners every to grace the sky. Thanks for the fond memories!

I am glad I had the oppurtunity to fly this type a couple times when I was a kid, would be great to book one more flight on it for sure

Next time you have a long layover at AMS be sure to message me!

Take care,
Brendan
 
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RE: KLM MD-11 Business Class To Montreal

Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:31 pm

Hi Brendan

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 43):
Anyway excellent report as usual,

Thank you!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 43):
KLMs service looks quite good, especially the food!

Very tasty indeed. And so much of it!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 43):
You're always off hehe

Yeah, you have a point there. But I don't complain and suffer in silence.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 43):
hehe, MTV not your style I guess

No. Having a conversation with my 17 year old niece usually ends with her rolling her eyes at my ignorance and bad taste in music.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 43):
and a verrrryyy long taxi

Well yes, but with very excellent views!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 43):
Was quite surprised to see that too that day, come to think of it I saw your aircraft at the gate while passing by on the bus!

I could have waved if I'd known.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 43):
A very nice farewell gift IMO

I'm already trying to figure out how to get my hands on a few more.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 43):
I had the same experience at YYZ last week..

It's kind of strange. First they make this big fuss to let you in. But once you're there they loose interest.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 43):
I barely got any sleep in that seat last week when flying YYZ-AMS, but then of course I am 2m tall

Blimey. You must spend a lot on extra leg room.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 43):
Such a beauty!

Yes, makes you go all gooey inside!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 43):
I seem to have that same curse too

My luck changed though on my way to Bergen. We got a great view of Amsterdam on the climb out.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 43):
Exactly my opinion!

Can't wait to see the newly designed interior on their Jumbos.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 43):
Next time you have a long layover at AMS be sure to message me!

Thanks Brendan, I will.

Cheers,
William

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