Introduction - Part 1
Hallo!!!!!!!! This trip report is going to be about a recent Non Rev excursion to Amsterdam in The Netherlands back in December for some Stroopwaffels!
As a recap, travelling as a Non-Revenue, Space available passenger is always a risk; seats not being available, getting stuck in a far far away city. I enjoy taking the risk as the positives always seem to outweigh the negatives!
A lot of this report is going to encompass my outbound trip to AMS as I was beyond exhausted on the return.
It was Sunday the 16th of December, I was at work all day waiting for my day to end (Sundays are my Fridays). I was itching to escape Buffalo and just get away! It then hit me, I wanted to go to Amsterdam! I love Amsterdam and The Netherlands a little too much. The Dutch are such great people; very friendly and very hospitable! I want to move there one day if the opportunity presents itself to me!
I checked the loads for the following day to do a "turn" and the flights were WIDE OPEN. Global First had zero bookings from ORD-AMS and BusinessFirst had 20 open seats on the return (along with 2 seats open in F).
Luckily there were slim to no Standby's on any of the flights so I went ahead and listed for the flight!
Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) - Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD)
Scheduled Departure Time: 16:26
My ship to ORD.
My day started off on a rather rough note. As I was heading to the airport I noticed I had flashing Red and Blue lights behind my vehicle; it was a damn New York state trooper. Apparently doing 70mph in a 65mph is considered speeding. After just giving me a ticket for having the wrong address on my Drivers License, I continued my drive to the Buffalo Airport on Interstate 290.
I had arrived a few hours before departure to work on picking up hours the following week/ just hang out with some of my co-workers.
Boarding began at 15:50 and I received my seat assignment right at the start of boarding. After getting picked on my coworkers for how crazy I am for going to AMS and back in less then 24 hours, I bid them adieu and boarded the newly refurbished A320.
Leg Room Shot- the benefits of being 5'7"- Economy Plus is like first class!
Drop down LCD's.
This was a very standard 1.5 hour flight over to Chicagoland. The usual beverage service started about 10 minutes after departure. I opted for my usual coke.
Channel 9 was available on this flight; I listened to it for the duration of flight. It's always humorous listening to barely on transmissions in BUF to the constant, non-stop transmissions on ORD TRACON.
We arrived in ORD on schedule.... just a few minutes before the flight to AMS would begin boarding.
Transit in ORD
My transit in ORD was short lived; I did not have too much time to grab anything to eat prior to boarding the flight to AMS. That was okay because I knew the flight was WIDE open and would eat a rather nice dinner in F or J.
Don't mind the blurriness. Terminal C in ORD
Chicago O'Hare International Airport - Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, The Netherlands (AMS)
Scheduled Departure Time: 18:00
Gate C-19, our departure gate for tonight's flight to Amsterdam.
After getting to Gate C-19 from my arrival gate just down the hall, boarding shortly began for flight 908 to Amsterdam!
Right as boarding was about to start for this flight, I was called up to the podium for my seat assignment! I noticed on the GIDS I was cleared for seat 2C, which was in the Global First cabin!
I was greeted at the door by our Purser…Now I found this VERY hysterical; her name was Penney, just like “Purser Penney” in the UK TV show “Come Fly With Me”. She even looked like “her” with the hat and all. Unlike our TV Penney, this Penney was just outstanding with her service! Very professional but also VERY down to earth.
The flight consisted of 2 LOD’s who spoke Nederlands!
I settled into my seat, 2C which is in the center section of this 767-300. The aircraft was renovated with new Overhead bins in the F and J cabin, along with new seats and AVOD.
Impressions of the Global First Suite:
I found the seat to be absolutely comfortable. There was more than enough storage with under-armrest storage, a large cubby near the aisle and also to the side of you. It was also very private, you felt like you were in your own cocoon!
View from my seat!
Penney Purser approached me and by name asked “Mr Ulm, would you care for a beverage before we depart?” Of course I was in the mood to Booze so of course I asked for my favorite airplane cocktail, Cran Vodka! Now I usually prefer a Long Island, but we all know they don’t have that…
My pre-departure beverage!
Me Loving Global First Class Life!
Shortly after takeoff, Penney came around for our dinner order. With myself being a red meat free kind of guy along with not liking Fish and impartial to Mexican Fare (Yeah I am picky, get over it), I settled on the Tri-Color Ravioli!
First I was presented with the Appetizer- a “Vegetable Spring Roll and coconut shrimp skewer with mango Chutney”
The spring roll was absolutely delicious! The mango chutney sauce was so flavorful!
Next we were presented with the Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Bisque Soup!
This was another winner in my book! Heated in the convection over right to the perfect temp!
After the soup, the salad followed, however I forgot to take a picture of that. (It was just a standard salad :P)
The Main Course was presented next. The Ravioli were perfected along with the Asparagus!
I enjoyed my meal with a Pretzel roll and a Coke. For some reason, I don’t enjoy drinking liquor during dinner. Call me crazy!
The dinner dishes were cleared away and then the Silver Three-Tiered cart was rolled out with the Cheese plate and Ice Cream!
I enjoyed the cheese plate with a nice glass of Port!
Ice Cream Sundae with Strawberry Topping!!
After dinner, I settled in my seat cracked open the amenity kit and reclined the seat to bed mode.
Global First Amenity Kit!
The Global First Amenity Kit features Purity skin care products (Lip Balm, Facial Spray, Hand and Face Cream), Show Horn, Wooden Hair comb, Full travel size Scope Mouth Wash and Colgate toothpaste, tooth brush conveniently places in a United Branded 1 quart size zip-top bag, also a travel size Hand Sanitizer, ear plugs and pen were located in the bag.
Now United features a new Turn down Service in Global First in which you notify the Flight Attendant when you would like your bed made up. The Flight Attendant then will (as you’re in the Lav) recline the seat to full flat, place a mattress pad on top of the seat along with preparing the Duvet and BOTH pillows they give you in F. I hate being a pest to the flight attendants as a non rev so I just made up my own bed! HAHA
My attempt at trying to sleep…
After NOT sleeping and watching a few movies on the wonderful AVOD system, it was time for Breakfast!
Today’s breakfast was a lite breakfast which I don’t mind because I despise heavy, greasy food, let alone breakfast! We had a deli plate with Ham, Turkey Salami and cheeses along with a selection of Breakfast Breads and Jams. Also, yogurt and a fruit bowl accompanied the meal.
After the trays were collected, we began our descent in Amsterdam! I still get that giddy feeling whenever we cross the Dutch coastline! I just wish I was staying there longer than 3 hours! Haha!
We soon touched down at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol! My favorite airport!!! We were met by a very friendly PMCO agent who welcomed us to the Netherlands in both English and Dutch.
I then made my way on to the ancient, tin can jet bridges that AMS seems to be in the process of replacing with new Thyssen jet bridges. Those bridges are so damn cold! I walked around for a little bit while listening to Helga making constant announcements (she is the stereotypical KLM agent who yells at non-revs; this is an inside joke with all of my airline friends). “Attention please… Mr Ulm travelling to Chicago, you are delaying the flight. Please proceed to gate E-17 or we will proceed to off-load your baggage!”… LOVE IT!
Don’t forget “MIND YOUR STEP!”