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A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:02 am

Introduction – I have always wanted to go to Amsterdam. I’ve told myself time and time again, I should go to Amsterdam especially since I have learned Dutch on my own, I have been very interested to see how far my Dutch went. In July I asked my boss if he would give me a week off in February and all I have to do it just get my passport. He said let me guess you are going to go to Amsterdam and I said yep.

After looking at airfare for a few weeks and playing along with how I want to route myself I finally chose what I wanted to do. On September 1st came along and that was the day that I finally booked my ticket. I paid $1190,72 for a ticket to Amsterdam and California. So I can be there just in time for my little cousin’s birthday. I decided on booking with KLM and Delta because it has been just about 9,5 years since I have last flown with them and I can always remember the good times that I had with them. I hope they wouldn’t disappoint me!

I was looking at places to stay in the Netherlands and several a.netters approached me and offered me a place to stay. I was humbled but I finally chose to stay with CrimsonNL. After booking came the 5 months of waiting for my vacation to finally arrive.

KLM 612 ORD-AMS 2 Feb 2014 B747-400 Combi
Reg: PH-BFP – City of Paramaribo
STD: 1625
ATD: 1609
STA: 0710 +1
ATA: 0615 +1

Hello everyone. I woke up at 0830 just filled with excitement knowing that I will be going on my first trip overseas by myself. I had some breakfast and during this typical nasty Chicago winter, it snowed so I had to do some snow removal. After that I took a shower and did nothing for a few hours. 1300 finally came along and I went downstairs and told my dad that I was leaving. He wished me a good trip.I decided to drive myself with my sister and brother to the airport knowing that I wouldn’t be driving a car for the next 2,5 weeks and after 25 minutes I arrived at Chicago O’Hare’s Terminal 5 – our international terminal.

I had a cigarette real quick and then walked into the terminal to the KLM counter with my one suitcase and backpack. I put my bag on the scale and was 3 pounds under the limit. I was asked where I was going and I said Amsterdam and the ticket agent said are you going further and I said no. I retrieved my boarding pass and made my way to security where it has definitely changed since the last time I’ve seen it. I presented my boarding pass and went through security.

It was the body scanner in which I have no problem going through. After I walked out I was asked if I had anything in my pockets and I said no. TSA said that I had something in my pockets and then I remember I had zippered track pants underneath my slacks.

After exiting security, you walk straight through Duty Free which I think is a horrible idea. I don’t like being hassled to buy things. I walked over to the FIDS monitor and looked for anything interesting only thing interesting was that the Delta Paris flight was about 2,5 hours late.

Right next to the monitor was M8, my gate for Amsterdam. I got to the gate and sat around looked out the window took some pictures and then got itchy for another cigarette so I went outside again and 10 minutes later, repeated the whole security process again and had to remind the TSA that I had zippered track pants underneath. Eventually boarding started and they boarded the usual, the top tiers and business class and then started economy from the back of the plane forward. Since I was towards the back of the plane, I got to board in the first group of economy class.

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As I walk down the jetbridge, I can hardly contain myself knowing that the last time I flew KLM was August 2004. As I got to the end of the bridge, the flight attendant asked what seat I was in so I responded in Dutch 40A and she said ‘linkerzijde’ (left side). I walked all the way down, sat down and took some pictures and then I had a person take the aisle seat who I later found out was travelling to Gothenburg, Sweden. I sat there for about 30 minutes and after the doors closed I noticed how empty this flight was.

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Shortly before we pushed back Capt. Ten Bosch came on the mic and told us about our flight to Amsterdam. He said that the flight would take a quick 6 hours and 45 minutes and we would fly towards Toronto, Newfoundland, Cork, Manchester and finally Amsterdam. We pushed back at 1609 and taxied via A19, A, A10, T10, 32L. We took off at 1624 and as we were climbing out, I easily noticed the IKEA and Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg and then we turned right for Lake Michigan and eastward bound we go. As we fly towards Amsterdam, we fly over the state of Michigan; I notice that the IFE is not working properly. Programs keep freezing, touch screen not responsive and I’m limited to a few items to watch but the whole economy class got a reset.

http://i.imgur.com/eFFSOid.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JomXPkWX2Yo
Taking off from Chicago O'Hare to Amsterdam

http://i.imgur.com/o5eIO5L.jpg

Darkness started to fall at 1 minute past midnight in Amsterdam. Since this would be a fast flight, our expected arrival time into Amsterdam is 0603. We are cruising at 35.000 ft / 10666m at a speed of 717 mph / 1154kmh. I could smell food in the cabin and I knew dinner was soon coming. The flight attendant came around and asked me in Dutch if I wanted 'kip of pasta' (chicken or pasta) and I said ‘kip’. The food was good, although would of liked to see more chicken then veggies but I ate it with some salad, bread, cheese and a chocolate cake.

http://i.imgur.com/I31SgYg.jpg

We hit some minor turbulence while Duty free was coming along. I got bored so I decided to walk around and talk to the crew. I gave this nice flight attendant some tips and pointers on what to do on her next visit to Chicago. Hey I love my city what can I say? We eventually climbed another 1000 feet to 36.000 ft. At this point, we have another 1h 40m to go and the tiredness is definitely starting to hit me but thanks to the jet stream, we will be arriving into Amsterdam 1h 10m early. 30 minutes later, we cross into Ireland and climb to FL390. Breakfast was served and I was looking forward to it since I didn’t eat much dinner. Breakfast consisted of yogurt, a muffin and orange juice.

Descent started at 0538 and the pilot came on the mic again and said that we should be at the gate at 0615. The skies are clear and the temperature is 2C. We made landfall over The IJmuiden and immediately turned for the Polderbaan. We landed at 0604 and had a very quick taxi to the terminal. After we got onto the taxiway, I noticed that in front of us was a China Southern 777. Surprisingly we parked at gate E9 at 0615 just as Captain Ten Bosch said.

I got off the plane 10 minutes later and immediately an Indian man comes up to me and asks me if I am going to New Delhi and I say no sorry Amsterdam is my final destination. I went to the toilet real quick and then find signs that lead me to passport control. I got to the end of the E Pier and there was a sign for passport control and I looked to my left and tucked in the corner I found it! It was much easier to find and see in person than previously thought as I searched on YouTube and other Amsterdam arriving videos.

I handed my passport to the KM and said ‘Alstublieft’ (here you go) and then I was asked where I was coming from and I said Chicago then how long am I in The Netherlands for and why am I here. I replied ‘Een week en vakantie’ (1 week and vacation) then the nice lady said ‘Je spreekt goed Nederlands’ (You speak good Dutch) as she was stamping my passport. I replied ‘Dank je wel en fijne dag verder’ (Thank you and have a good rest of the day.)

I walked down the stairs and went to baggage belt 10. The bags were expected to be on the belt at 0635, not too long that I would have to wait. I waited and waited and then soon a KLM agent came to our baggage belt and asked what flight I was waiting for and I said 612 from Chicago. She then asked me English or Dutch and I knew something was wrong. I said English. She told me that the baggage holds were frozen therefore preventing the bags from being unloaded. She said hopefully the bags will be here soon. I waited some more and she came back and I asked about the bags and she said that they are waiting for someone to come and open the hold. Meanwhile she wanted to give us a voucher worth 5 Euros for waiting. I was excited! You don’t see this kind of treatment in the US. I was told that I can leave customs and come back in 20-30 minutes for my bag and that’s what I did.

After exiting customs, I saw CrimsonNL and told him that ‘Ik heb geen koffer’ (I have no suitcase). Apparently the hold is frozen therefore cannot get my bag out so I have a voucher to spend. So I went to go change my money in which I thought for what I had would be a lot which turns out to only be 35 Euros. I thought to myself damn, this is going to be one expensive trip.

I got my coffee and we talked and by then all I just wanted was sleep. After coffee time, I walked back into the customs area and waited for my bag again. I asked if there was any news and she said that they are being delivered right now. Another 20 minutes goes by and finally my bag shows up along with the 4 other people who were waiting as well for their bag. After that we met up again and then drove to his place.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnOmt1GiWc8
Landing in Amsterdam from Chicago – Dark landing

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http://i.imgur.com/hYjAgLz.jpg

KLM601 AMS-LAX B747-400 Combi 10 February 2014
Reg: PH-BFF – City of Freetown
STD: 0950
ATD: 1003
STA: 1150
ATA: 1141

After an awesome week in the Netherlands going into Amsterdam and meeting with CaptainPatroni and MEA-707, De Aviodrome in Lelystad, The Anne Frank Huis, The Heineken Experience, It was time to go on part 2 of my vacation to California and visit family. I went to bed around midnight with the fact that I need to wake up in 4 hours to go to Schiphol because CrimsonNL had work and I didn’t want to trouble him at all so I just made it easy and decided to go to Schiphol early.

At 0415 my alarm went off and I instantly regretted going to bed 4 hours prior. We left at 0430 and got to Schiphol by 0515. I was dropped off at Vertrekhal 2 (Departure Hall 2) I shook Crimson’s hand and thanked him for hosting me and for everything. One last check to make sure I had everything and then I said goodbye and walked in the door. I had to go get my VAT back so I walked to Vertrekhal 3 as that’s where my place was. The place didn’t open until 6 am and that was fine with me since I had lots of time to check in.

While waiting I was looking at the flight monitors and I saw nothing entirely special except there was a flight to Sochi for the Olympics. Also while waiting I saw a man from Colombia and a woman from Russia also waiting to reclaim their VAT. The Russian lady asked what time it opened and I said 0600 but there was a sign that said for any one waiting before 0600 you can call this number and someone will come up. I told the Russian lady that I wasn’t calling but if she wanted to she can. So she called and a few minutes later someone from the Douane (Customs) came up. I presented him my receipt from the Heineken museum and it was stamped. I re-packed my suitcase and then walked back over to terminal 2 to drop off my receipt and check in.

Since I had trouble checking in online I was kind of worried but then I found a KLM agent and explained to her in Dutch what happened. She said no worries and she immediately checked me in all the way to Oakland. I was just one or 2 kgs short of the limit. I then found passport control and very soon I was stamped out of the country. I was a little sad knowing how much fun I had in this wonderful country but then I was happy because I would be arriving in temperatures that were warmer than what it was in Chicago.

I was hungry so I decided to get one last meal somewhere. I wasn’t in the mood for McDonalds or Burger King so I decided my last meal would be Dutch food. I couldn’t decide between uitsmijter and kroketten but since I fell in love with kroketten, I decided to get that with bread. I got a small fanta with that and I must say that my breakfast was very delicious. After eating I went to go to some last minute shopping for some coworkers who I promised to get small gifts for. Then off to the Rijksmuseum. I walked around some more and then walked back to the E-Pier looked at the flight monitor and saw that the Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong with a departure of 12.45 was delayed 8 hours. Ouch that really has to suck. Sinceit was still dark out, I saw an airplane coming in with KLM Asia titles and I wondered if it was our plane but it wasn’t. Since we were right next to the Koninklijke Marechausee, a flight from Curacao arrived and they brought drug sniffing dogs and just checking everyone out.

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I walked all the way E24 where there was a flight to Panama City at E22 where there were 2 kids running around screaming with a baggage trolley. It was way too early in the morning for that. The gate opened up at 0820 and I really wanted a real traditional boarding pass so I went up the gate agent and said in Dutch that ‘Mijn instapkaart is verloren’ ( I lost my boarding pass) and she printed me 2 new ones that were the blue boarding passes with the thick black font.

It was time for a security check where I put everything through except my shoes in which I was happy for as that is one less thing I need to take off. I handed my passport and boarding pass to the security agent and we briefly spoke Dutch in which I was complimented once again. After security I went to the window and just sat there and waited for boarding. I saw our plane and then the KLM 737 in retro colours. Then the rain came and more planes taxied by. I walked in the gate and took the jetbridge that directed me to the back of the aircraft which was really cool walking over the wing to the very last door of the plane.

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I said ‘Goedemorgen’ (Good morning) to the flight attendant and walked to 40A. I could already see that this flight was going to be a very full flight. I sat down, looked out the window and was already bored. I just wanted this flight to be over already. I had a seatmate who I saw earlier who also lost his boarding pass. He immediately introduced himself and I introduced myself. He told me that he flew in from Aalborg and that he was coming to the US to visit friends and look for a job. I said I was going to California to visit family.



The pilot came on the mic and said that this flight was going to be 10 hours, 25 minutes. I thought to myself ‘shit this is going to be very long on a very full flight, maybe I will get some sleep’. We pushed back late at 1003 just 13 minutes late. I couldn’t catch why we were late though. We taxied via A13, A and to runway 24 – the Kaagbaan and we took off at 1015. I looked out the window and said ‘Tot ziens Nederland, tot volgende keer!’ (Good bye Holland, until the next time!). The seatbelt sign switched off 7 minutes later at 1022 and after takeoff water was dripping all over me from the vent. I was not a happy person and I was hoping that this was not going to happen during the entire flight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDrqctm7zSY
Taking off from Amsterdam for Los Angeles

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I rang the call button and told the FA what was happening and she said it’s just the air conditioning. I took her word for it and then turned on a movie. We left the coast of the UK at 1131, climbed to FL320/ 9753m and then lunch was served. I made the choice to not get the chicken and to get the pasta in which I definitely did enjoy. I pretty much ate everything on my tray including the desert which was some sort of pie which was absolutely delicious. Hot towels were passed around after lunch time.

http://i.imgur.com/I31SgYg.jpg

I looked out the window and saw that it was cloudy and was hoping that I would be able to see Greenland in all of its glory in the middle of winter. I was able to watch We Are The Millers and Captain Phillips and since we keep hitting turbulence, we descended to FL300 / 9144m. I was finally tired and so it was nap time which was sadly only an hour.

We climbed again to FL360 and we made US landfall over North Dakota. So close to home, yet so far. I watched some more TV shows and whatever I could find on the entertainment system. Our ETA was 1136 pretty ontime so far. We overflew Las Vegas with 40 minutes left inflight and since I was sitting on the wrong side of the airplane, I couldn’t see anything spectacular. So I just looked out the window some more.

The pilot came on the mic and said that the weather was 17C / 63F outside in which that felt very dreamy to me considering the winter we have had and how it was -40C/-40F just a month ago oh and there’s lots of snow on the ground in Chicago. With 10 minutes of taxi time we would have an on time arrival.

We landed on runway 24R at 1144 and taxied to the gate and just as promised; it only took us 10 minutes to taxi to the gate. While sitting at the gate, I called my mom and let her know that I’m back in the US and that I had an awesome time in The Netherlands and that I have one more flight left and that is to Oakland.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nSvCrD5-wY
Landing in Los Angeles from Amsterdam

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As soon as I got off the aircraft, that familiar feeling of being tired hit me again and I felt like a zombie. I know that other flights landed ahead of us and that immigration just dragged along slowly. Behind our flight was the Avianca flight from Bogota. Finally after what seemed like an eternity, it was my turn to proceed to the desk. The lady just looked at me, looked at my passport, asked me to take off my glasses and then a stamp later, I was admitted to the US.

I went on a mission to find my bag and I was real nervous because there were so many bags that were pulled off the carousel and I was thinking to myself did mine make it? Did someone take it? After about 5 minutes of walking around the entire carousel and looking left and right, I found my suitcase. I then walked through customs and even after bringing in Dutch groceries into the country, nothing was checked. I dropped my bag off with TSA and then walked outside and noticed how sunny and beautiful it was.

I lit up a cigarette while walking from Terminal 2 to Terminal 5, texted some friends saying I was back in the US, I had a phenomenal time in The Netherlands and I’m ready for part 2.


Delta 4607 LAX-OAK CRJ900 10 February 2014
Reg: N692CA
STD: 1517
ATD: 1518
STA: 1641
ATA: 1638

I made it to Terminal 5 where I walked inside and was looking for security while wandering dumbfounded until I asked someone but once I did find, it was an easy walk. The line was sort of long but not too bad. I presented my passport and boarding pass to TSA and the agent said you look really tired and I replied, yeah I just got off a flight from Amsterdam. After going through the body scanner again, I saw fellow passengers from our KLM flight and I said we’re almost there and they replied yeah, we’re so close to home now after coming from Tanzania and Rwanda.

Our gate today is 54A where before our flight was a flight to Maui. They eventually boarded and in the process of their boarding, I called my dad and let him know I was in Los Angeles and he said it was good that you called, enjoy the rest of your vacation. Soon our plane came in from Las Vegas and people deplaned as it was interesting to see where they were connecting to. Some were connecting to Tokyo Haneda.

I talked to a very nice agent named Michelle who said that boarding was soon and shortly she started announcing people to the podium for seat changes. My name was called and she said that she changed my seat to 7D so I can get some sleep. I was surprised that she did that for me and I thanked her. Boarding started at 1452 and it was a pretty empty flight. I got to my seat and I realised that I was in the wrong seat since I accidentally sat in 6D. Oops I guess that’s what I get for being tired. A man sat down next to me until someone else came and said that’s my seat and the man said that he would move. I apologised and that was the end of that.



The bridge was pulled at 1509 and we pushed back at 1518. From what I can tell, we taxied via C8, B, and 25R. We took off at 1527 with a nice view of the terminals and various international airlines as we were taking off. After takeoff we turned a slight right and hit a few bumps but nothing major and soon drink service came around. I got a coffee and drank it black with no sugar or cream as I just wanted something to stay awake. While getting my coffee, I talked to the FA and she said she just did a Mumbai trip last week.

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I got another round of coffee and soon it was time to start descent in which that happened at 1601. The pilot came on at 1608 and said that we are 20 minutes from Oakland and the weather was 57F with blue skies and we should be at the gate at 1638. We landed on runway 30 at 1632 and taxied via W5, W, and T, to gate 15. We parked at 1638.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UEM9QCY34s
Landing in Oakland from Los Angeles

Delta 4468 OAK- LAX CRJ 700 18 February 2014
Reg: N/A
STD: 0915
ATD: 0913
STA: 1038
ATA: 1031

After a wonderful week plus an extra day of spending time with my family it was time to go home. On the 16th of February, I kept getting weather alerts for Chicago and its snowfall that was supposed to happen on the 17th of February, which was my original travel date home. I tweeted Delta and called them once in the morning to see if there were any travel waivers for Chicago but none were issued. I went out Sunday night with family and around midnight Chicago time, I got a warning stating that whatever was supposed to hit Chicago was now a winter storm.

I immediately called Delta and talked to one person and I told him, I don’t know if you are aware of the winter storm supposedly hitting Chicago tomorrow but if there is any way I can change my flight? I don’t want to be stuck in Atlanta over night’ He said it is possible but I would have to talk to a supervisor in which I asked for. I talked to a nice lady and told her everything that I told the previous person. She also confirmed that there was a winter storm heading towards Chicago and then she went to play with the Delta system. She told me that she was able to change my flights and that it would be free even though there was no official waiver issued. I thanked her profusely and was very happy that I was able to enjoy one more day with my family.

During the time I was in California, with my 2 cousin’s ages 7 and 3 both have gotten me sick with a nasty head cold. So I apologise if the rest of the report seems kind of short. I woke up at 0530 after going to bed at 0830 and finished packing my suitcase. It was about 715 and I went downstairs got a quick bite to eat and then said goodbye to my cousins and was driven to Oakland. I got to OAK at 0800 checked in and put my bag on the scale. I was right at the limit of 50 lbs / 23kg. Also somehow I didn’t have to pay for my bag even though it was all domestic flights and I held no status with Delta. My boarding passes were printed and I was told that I was to experience a delay in LAX as our plane was coming in from Detroit and had left late which was about a 20 minute delay.

I got to the gate at 0820 right when the aircraft was pulling in and I mulled around the concourse reminiscing on good times while fighting this cold. I was able to board the aircraft at 0850 and went to 10D. A lady sat down next to me and immediately said hello. I said hello back and continued to look out the window.

We pushed back at 0913 and taxied via S,T but however the pilot came on and said that we have a new departure time of 0929 so we sat around for a few minutes as I got to watch planes come and go. We soon continued our taxi via U and finally onto runway 30 where I got to see a Hawaiian 767-300 take off which was pretty cool considering we don’t get them here in Chicago but also they have a very nice livery. We took off at 0927 with a flight time of 47 minutes cruising at FL350 / 10668m.

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Drink service came by and I chose not to get anything. I couldn’t believe that I was on a plane going home. I wanted to go home but then I didn’t. I was ready to see my family but then I would also miss the warm weather.



Eventually it was time to start descent and that’s when I realised I was in trouble. The pressure in my ears was just killing me. I just wanted to take a knife and cut off my ears as they hurt so much. I tried anything and everything to relieve the pressure but nothing worked. I was never happier than to hear the thrust reversers when we landed on runway 25L at 1031. After we left the runway, we taxied to gate 50 where after deplaning I saw Michelle, the same agent who helped me the week before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gs7BfXrrdiw
Landing in Los Angeles from Oakland



Delta 2056 LAX-ATL Boeing 767-400 18 February 2014
Reg: N840MH
STD: 1200
ATD: 1223
STA: 1914
ATA: 1905

After deplaning I went outside for a smoke and then walked back inside. Security was pretty long actually but I got through pretty quickly. I went to gate 57 for our flight to Atlanta where I asked if I could get a window seat but I was told that this flight was completely full. Our aircraft pulled in at 1130 from Detroit and boy did it look massive! This would be my first time on a 767-400.

http://i.imgur.com/C4PHvys.jpg

Before they called for boarding they made an announcement stating that this was an international configured plane and that there would be no wifi onboard. They called for boarding and I boarded at 1150 and proceeded to seat 41C which is an aisle seat. Next to me as a man going to Atlanta and then next to him was a lady travelling to Chicago Midway. A lady walked down the aisle and stopped at our row and I asked her if she had 41A the window seat and asked her if she would like to switch for an aisle seat and her response was ‘No’. I resided on the fact that I wouldn’t be able to record any takeoff or landing videos for this sector.

http://i.imgur.com/HSxMY2D.jpg

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We pushed back at 12.23 and shortly the engines started and spooled up as we made our way to runway 25R. We took off pretty quickly at 1234 and flew over the Pacific Ocean before turning towards Atlanta. I browsed the IFE and I thought it was pretty good although I wasn’t too happy that they charged for movies. I thought the flight map was detailed and all of its extra details such as splitting it in half with imperial and metric and allowing for a wide choice of languages.

http://i.imgur.com/6m1bhhM.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/UU3nDyM.jpg

I was pretty hungry by now and I knew that Delta would come by with food but when they got towards the back of the cabin, there were only a limited amount of choices. I ended up getting the treat pack for $6,49 which had a lot of food for its price and it covered me until we got to Atlanta.

http://i.imgur.com/pSzeErm.jpg

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We climbed to FL350 / 10668m and hit some light chop along the way and the seat belt sign had to be turned on at least 3 times. I watched some movies and then walked around the cabin once or twice. Darkness was soon falling and with 25 minutes left of our flight we started our descent. I could tell because I was starting to have the same pain in my ears from the last flight and I was trying to figure out how I was going to survive the next flight.

http://i.imgur.com/wAs8XxD.jpg

We landed at 1905 on runway 26R and after we landed I noticed it was raining. It was just a drizzle but enough so that the entire ground was wet. We taxied to the E gates and as soon as the seatbelt sign switched off, I made a bolt as fast as I could until I hit a wall of people. I managed to get about 5 rows forward or so.

Delta 1812 ATL-ORD Airbus A319 18 February 2014
Reg: N326NB
STD: 2150
ATD: 2148
STA: 2245
ATA: 2227

After getting off the plane, I saw that this plane would be continuing on to Rio de Janiero which I thought was pretty cool considering I was about to head back to the frozen tundra of Chicago instead of somewhere nice and warm. I went to the smoking lounge real quick before taking a walk through Atlanta’s airport. They still had a decent amount of flights departing and I walked down and saw the Amsterdam flight just about completely boarded. How I wished I was going back! I looked on the monitor and saw that my flight to Chicago O’Hare would be leaving out of A28, so I walked down and took the train to the A concourse. I charged my phone a little bit and then was hungry again so I went to go try Krystle burger. After eating it, it was the south’s version of White Castle.

Since I didn’t have a boarding pass for this flight and only a seat request I had to wait for the agent who was waiting on our inbound plane from LGA. After everyone deplaned I walked up to her with my seat request and she printed me out a boarding pass which was an aisle seat so I asked for a window seat in which I got. My seat today was 7F. I hung around the gate area and talked to the agent for a little bit. It was close to boarding time but she told me that the aircraft had not been cleaned yet and by now all I wanted to do was get home.

A supervisor came up from the jetbridge and said that the plane was cleaned; we’re just waiting on catering and the crew. The crew showed up at 2110 and I boarded at 2123. I’m pretty sure that I saw my bag get loaded so I was happy that it made the flight. I sat next to 2 nice people in which we all made comments about people who wouldn’t stop talking. Once again this would be a full flight. Right before pushback some lady came marching up the aisle and told the flight attendant that she forgot her laptop at another gate so she went off the plane. I didn’t see her get back on the plane either.

The pilot came on and said that the weather in Chicago was 41F / 5C outside and it would take 1 hour, 29 minutes to Chicago. I thought to myself, considering the really bad winter we had, it was finally time we got above freezing. We pushed back at 2148 and taxied via Ramp 1, E towards runway 26L past the Delta hangar where we took off at 2200.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwGdD_agVek
Taking off from Atlanta to Chicago – Dark takeoff

Drink service came by and I got a Sprite and a cookie. Nothing really happened during the flight but it seemed to go really slow. I could tell we were getting near Chicago as we started our descent at 2150 Central time and the seatbelt sign came on at 2211. The pilot came on and said that we would be on the ground in 20 minutes. We flew over Lake Michigan and over some towns close to my house, so it was real easy to see where we were.

We landed at 2227 on runway 27L. After exiting the runway, we cut through Terminal 1 and parked at E12. I thanked the crew for a good flight and deplaned. A quick stop at the bathroom and then off to the baggage claim. Soon the bags came out and not too long did mine come out. I noticed that I was missing one of my KLM tags. Either it fell off or someone took it but it is replaceable. I left the baggage claim in Terminal 2 and found my sister and we drove home. I got home about 2330 or so.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg37C2H_is
Landing in Chicago from Atlanta – Dark landing

In conclusion, I had an awesome time in The Netherlands, albeit expensive but I really do miss the Dutch food and beer! I had very good flights with good crew. I was very fortunate to have my flights mostly on time with some minor delays but nothing too major. It was nice flying KLM again after 9,5 years and they didn’t let me down. Delta was helpful with everything and I look forward to flying them again.

Here are some other non av photos:

http://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1.0-9/1890976_10153845128310720_196816879_n.jpg
CrimsonNL, CaptainPatroni, myself (The brown one lol) and MEA707

http://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/t1/1978858_10153845018525720_2122401824_n.jpg
FEBO!

http://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/t1/1534292_10153845019780720_126527613_n.jpg


http://scontent-a-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/t1.09/1976888_10153845021225720_1821524812_n.jpg

http://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/t1.09/1779125_10153845022210720_1821327690_n.jpg

http://scontent-b-ord.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/t1/1800232_10153845025920720_1371618170_n.jpg

Schiphol

Please feel free to comment and thanks for reading! I know it is long but it’s well worth the read!

Leo/ORD
 
dumbell2424
Posts: 929
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:45 pm

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:34 am

Leo, Goedenavond!

Glad I got to finally read this. I know how much time you put into it, and it clearly shows. A wonderful read.

Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
I got off the plane 10 minutes later and immediately an Indian man comes up to me and asks me if I am going to New Delhi and I say no sorry Amsterdam is my final destination

  

Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
I fell in love with kroketten, I decided to get that with bread. I got a small fanta with that and I must say that my breakfast was very delicious

Looks yummy...some sort of meat?

Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
it was the south’s version of White Castle.

I'd take White Castle over Krystal any day.
 
SIA747Megatop
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:36 am

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:46 am

Cheers for the nice read, glad you had a good time in Amsterdam and with your family in Oakland but boy that looks like a hectic couple of weeks, you must've been tired by the end of it.

Didn't know DL charged for movies on international flights, that's a shame.

Happy travels,
Andy
 
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AirAfreak
Posts: 1024
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:20 am

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:15 am

Hi LFutia!

Nice report with some nice food photos... I'm hungry now and want Dutch Cuisine, now! hehe. Where did you find this FEBO Machine, btw? When I was in Schiphol, I found an "area" with Sushi/Noodle Bar/Herring/Raw Oysters/Wine, etc, but nothing like this. Sometimes I have just a few spare moments in AMS, so this would be helpful information. How was your snack?

Also, very nice of DL to look after you to Oakland and offer a nice seat for you to rest!

Thank you for sharing your flights with KLM and DL!

Bon Voyage,

AirAfreak  
Quoting SIA747Megatop (Reply 2):
Didn't know DL charged for movies on international flights, that's a shame.

As this was a domestic flight, they do charge for some selections but not all. For international flights, most selections are complimentary and all selections such as Showtime and HBO are complimentary in Economy Comfort and of course, in the Businesselite Cabin.  
 
LFutia
Topic Author
Posts: 3159
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2002 11:04 am

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:57 pm

Quoting dumbell2424 (Reply 1):

Leo, Goedenavond!

Goedemorgen Scotty!

Quoting dumbell2424 (Reply 1):
Glad I got to finally read this. I know how much time you put into it, and it clearly shows. A wonderful read.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Yeah you definitely know how much time I poured into it!

Quoting dumbell2424 (Reply 1):
Looks yummy...some sort of meat?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Croquette#Netherlands

Quoting dumbell2424 (Reply 1):
I'd take White Castle over Krystal any day.

Me too! I think maybe it might of tasted better if I wasn't sick!

Quoting SIA747Megatop (Reply 2):
Cheers for the nice read, glad you had a good time in Amsterdam and with your family in Oakland but boy that looks like a hectic couple of weeks, you must've been tired by the end of it.

Hey Andy! Thanks for reading! Definitely had an awesome time. Now that I'm better, I'm ready to head back into the skies!

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 3):
Hi LFutia!

Nice report with some nice food photos... I'm hungry now and want Dutch Cuisine, now! hehe. Where did you find this FEBO Machine, btw? When I was in Schiphol, I found an "area" with Sushi/Noodle Bar/Herring/Raw Oysters/Wine, etc, but nothing like this. Sometimes I have just a few spare moments in AMS, so this would be helpful information. How was your snack?

Also, very nice of DL to look after you to Oakland and offer a nice seat for you to rest!

Thank you for sharing your flights with KLM and DL!

Bon Voyage,

AirAfreak  

Hello AirAfreak!

Thanks and I'm glad I made you hungry. Trust me I miss the Dutch cuisine too! The FEBO Machine was from a picture that I took in Amsterdam near De Dam. I would know nothing about that as I don't like Sushi and most other seafood. If you are behind passport control, then you can go to The Holland Kitchen near the E/F Pier and get yummy food!

Yes I was very happy and surprised that DL took care of me to Oakland.

You are very most welcome, once again thanks for reading!
 
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DanTaylor2006
Posts: 377
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:15 am

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:50 pm

Great report Leo! Thats a hell of a journey   Got my own LAX flights coming up and dreading the flight lengths!

Nice to see the 744 Combi, not a type we see on here often. Maybe I'll try and get one some time.

Nice pictures and videos too. Glad you enjoyed Amsterdam, it's an intriguing place.

Cheers,

Daniel.
 
azstar
Posts: 451
Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 5:25 am

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:57 pm

Uitstekende verslag!
 
roberts87
Posts: 1095
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:59 am

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:02 pm

Hello Leo,

Nice report! Good to hear you enjoyed KLM and your trip to the Netherlands. Thanks for sharing your story!

Robert
 
ab486
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:26 pm

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:04 pm

Hi Leo,

Really nice report!

KLM, as usual, show a solid offering here. I'm yet to try them long haul  .

DL also look pretty decent - the snack deal looks like a good deal!

Those kroketten sure are nice. Looking forward to trying them again.

Nice meeting you in AMS, hopefully not long before another meet.

Thanks again!

Adam
 
Boeinglover24
Posts: 293
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:35 am

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:16 am

Nice trip report Leo! A good read and glad to know you had fun.

I still don't know why we can't have something like FEBO here in the United States and put them near subway stations. It sucks that we just missed each other by a few weeks definitely let me know when you decide to come back, I love Amsterdam maybe as much as you do : )
 
jetblue01
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:28 pm

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:18 am

awesome trip report!
 
LFutia
Topic Author
Posts: 3159
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2002 11:04 am

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:45 am

Quoting DanTaylor2006 (Reply 5):
Great report Leo! Thats a hell of a journey   Got my own LAX flights coming up and dreading the flight lengths!

Nice to see the 744 Combi, not a type we see on here often. Maybe I'll try and get one some time.

Nice pictures and videos too. Glad you enjoyed Amsterdam, it's an intriguing place.

Yes Dan, however you are closer to Los Angeles than Amsterdam is but once you get there, its great!

Quoting azstar (Reply 6):
Uitstekende verslag!

Goedenavond azstar! Bedankt voor lezen mijn verslag!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 7):
Hello Leo,

Nice report! Good to hear you enjoyed KLM and your trip to the Netherlands. Thanks for sharing your story!

Robert

Goedenavond Robert! Thanks for reading my trip report! The Netherlands was a lovely place! Can't wait to visit again!

Quoting ab486 (Reply 8):
Hi Leo,

Really nice report!

KLM, as usual, show a solid offering here. I'm yet to try them long haul  .

DL also look pretty decent - the snack deal looks like a good deal!

Those kroketten sure are nice. Looking forward to trying them again.

Nice meeting you in AMS, hopefully not long before another meet.

Hey Adam!

KLM was great as usual, The snack deal was pretty fulfilling I must say! mmm kroketten! I miss them so much! It was also nice meeting you!

Quoting Boeinglover24 (Reply 9):
Nice trip report Leo! A good read and glad to know you had fun.

I still don't know why we can't have something like FEBO here in the United States and put them near subway stations. It sucks that we just missed each other by a few weeks definitely let me know when you decide to come back, I love Amsterdam maybe as much as you do : )

Hey Jan! I would love to have FEBO all over the US!! What do you say we proposition them to come here? I'm down to go back whenever you are.

Quoting jetblue01 (Reply 10):

awesome trip report!

Evening Max! Thank you for your comments!  

Leo/ORD
 
YYZAMS
Posts: 236
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:54 pm

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:24 am

Great report! Curious how and why you chose to teach yourself Nederlands? I love croquette but prefer bitterballen! I hope you febreezed yourself after all the smokes you had. Sitting beside a smoker on a longhaul is rather bothersome. I think it is great that you learned Dutch. How empty was the plane on the way over?
 
LFutia
Topic Author
Posts: 3159
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2002 11:04 am

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:13 pm

Quoting YYZAMS (Reply 12):
Great report! Curious how and why you chose to teach yourself Nederlands? I love croquette but prefer bitterballen! I hope you febreezed yourself after all the smokes you had. Sitting beside a smoker on a longhaul is rather bothersome. I think it is great that you learned Dutch. How empty was the plane on the way over?

Haha I knew this would be brought up eventually. 10 years ago when I was a kid I wanted to live in Europe. Based on all the things I have heard about Europe, good and bad and the usual stereotypical, I chose The Netherlands based on their super liberalness and openness. Sorry I had no febreze. Praat je ook Nederlands? Empty enough that we just sat there for like 20 minutes with no one getting onboard. From where I was, it was just a handful rows but also the crew made an annoucement.
 
Tomskii
Posts: 451
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 10:42 am

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Sat Mar 15, 2014 4:46 pm

Nice TR Leo, thoroughly enjoyed reading it (as usual)!

Next trip to Belgium? 
 
ah414211
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2001 1:12 pm

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:41 pm

Great Report, I enjoyed reading it! Also, if you want it the Reg Number for 4468 OAK-LAX on 18 Feb 2014 was N607SK.
 
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RamonKok
Posts: 74
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:19 pm

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:09 pm

Hallo Leo,

Fantastisch verslag, great to read you had such an amazing time in The Netherlands, would I have known when you were here and where maybe we could have met, now I have to go Chicago in the future, how terrible    .

I went to Aviodrome last year and had no clue it was that big and there were so much planes, inside and outside even though I have driven past it at least 5 times.

And then off course the Kroketten from FEBO, I don't know how many I had but still they are so delicous, not very healthy but who cares.

Kind regards,

Ramon Kok
 
hoons90
Posts: 3952
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 10:15 pm

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:42 am

Nice trip report and pictures, Leo!

Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
Introduction – I have always wanted to go to Amsterdam. I’ve told myself time and time again, I should go to Amsterdam especially since I have learned Dutch on my own, I have been very interested to see how far my Dutch went

Finally!

Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
I walked over to the FIDS monitor and looked for anything interesting only thing interesting was that the Delta Paris flight was about 2,5 hours late.

What an oddball flight.

Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
As we fly towards Amsterdam, we fly over the state of Michigan; I notice that the IFE is not working properly. Programs keep freezing, touch screen not responsive and I’m limited to a few items to watch but the whole economy class got a reset.

Typical Panasonic IFE...

Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
he told me that the baggage holds were frozen therefore preventing the bags from being unloaded.

Happens quite a bit here at YYZ, very frustrating...

Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
She told me that she was able to change my flights and that it would be free even though there was no official waiver issued. I thanked her profusely and was very happy that I was able to enjoy one more day with my family.

Delta truly wins in the customer service department at least.

Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
This would be my first time on a 767-400.

Love flying on that plane! My trip to Europe in 2009 also included a KLM 744 and DL 764, sound familiar?  
 
LFutia
Topic Author
Posts: 3159
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2002 11:04 am

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Wed Mar 19, 2014 5:03 pm

Quoting Tomskii (Reply 14):
Nice TR Leo, thoroughly enjoyed reading it (as usual)!

Next trip to Belgium?
[quote=Tomskii,reply=14]
Nice TR Leo, thoroughly enjoyed reading it (as usual)!

Next trip to Belgium?
[quote=Tomskii,reply=14]Nice TR Leo, thoroughly enjoyed reading it (as usual)!

Next trip to Belgium? 

Goedemidddag Tom! Thanks for reading and yes maybe next time I will venture off into Belgie.

Quoting ah414211 (Reply 15):
Great Report, I enjoyed reading it! Also, if you want it the Reg Number for 4468 OAK-LAX on 18 Feb 2014 was N607SK.

Hello ah414211! Thanks for reading my report and thank you for the reg!

Quoting RamonKok (Reply 16):

Hallo Leo,

Fantastisch verslag, great to read you had such an amazing time in The Netherlands, would I have known when you were here and where maybe we could have met, now I have to go Chicago in the future, how terrible    .

I went to Aviodrome last year and had no clue it was that big and there were so much planes, inside and outside even though I have driven past it at least 5 times.

And then off course the Kroketten from FEBO, I don't know how many I had but still they are so delicous, not very healthy but who cares.

Kind regards,

Ramon Kok

Goedemiddag Ramon! Hartstikke dank! I had an amazing time in Nederland! I cannot wait to go back. I only made my plans public in the A.net chat / Facebook and Twitter although maybe I should of made a thread before I left for Amsterdam oh well. Next time!

Yes, you should come to Chicago just not in the winter time unless you like snow.

The Aviodrome was amazing and I'm so happy that I got the chance to go. So many airplanes from way before my time. It's not hard to notice that the Dutch take aviation so serious thanks to Anthony H.G. Fokker.

FEBO is definitely yummy. I cannot wait to go back and feast on delicious kroketten. I only wish that we had something similar to here.

Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 17):

An young ha se o Hoons! Thanks for reading my report. Yes, I believe finally is the word to describe me going to Amsterdam all by myself.

Delta operates the winter flight between ORD and CDG instead of Air France when they return in the summer.

I really couldn't complain about the IFE. As long as something worked, I was happy.

What I don't understand is how the holds were still frozen when we arrived in +C temperatures but oh well it is what it is.

I do remember your European trip in 2009, seemed not too long ago you were so ready to embark on a great trip to Europe. Hard to believe its been about 5 years!

Leo/ORD
 
adamspotter
Posts: 1191
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:06 pm

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:37 pm

Hoi Leo!

Very nice and detailed report you made here, it's great to read a report from you again!
Looks like KLM took good care of you despite some things that went wrong. Was there no second service on your AMS-LAX flight? After having flown 3 flights on a BA 744 I am very happy KLM did take good care of their 747s  
Looks like you had some nice flights on Delta as well, always cool to catch an Int'l configured aircraft on a domestic flight.
It was great seeing you in Amsterdam for a change, I guess the next meeting should be in Chicago again  
Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
I noticed that in front of us was a China Southern 777

That must have been the cargo version

Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
Since we were right next to the Koninklijke Marechausee, a flight from Curacao arrived and they brought drug sniffing dogs and just checking everyone out.

Did they catch anybody? 
Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
I made the choice to not get the chicken and to get the pasta in which I definitely did enjoy. I pretty much ate everything on my tray including the desert which was some sort of pie which was absolutely delicious. Hot towels were passed around after lunch time.

You must have posted the wrong picture as that is the same chicken meal as the ORD-AMS flight 
Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
She told me that she was able to change my flights and that it would be free even though there was no official waiver issued

That is good customer service, good job Delta!

Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
Also somehow I didn’t have to pay for my bag even though it was all domestic flights and I held no status with Delta.

Probably because this was all on one ticket which involved Int'l flying..

Quoting LFutia (Thread starter):
I was pretty hungry by now and I knew that Delta would come by with food but when they got towards the back of the cabin, there were only a limited amount of choices.

That seems to happen a lot on Delta!!

Thanks for sharing Leo!

cheers,

Brendan
 
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airbuseric
Posts: 3565
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 1:24 am

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:02 pm

Great report Leo, and despite not available to meet up, I still plan to come over to ORD and check out your city.
Glad to hear the positive KL and DL experiences, I have similar impressions.
Especially the sightseeing/tourist places are a bit expensive in Netherlands these days, like everywhere, but still I am sure that I am fortunate to live in that place. I'm happy that you had a good time!

Eric
 
LFutia
Topic Author
Posts: 3159
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2002 11:04 am

RE: A Dutch Fantasy & California Paradise On KL/DL

Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:57 am

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 19):

Goedenavond Brendan!

I'm pretty sure it was a pizza that was served.
No it wasnt the cargo version because as I waited for my baggage, there was a flight from China that arrived and their bags just so happened to be on our belt.

No they didn't catch anyone but I did see them walk people down to the room to talk. I did post the same picture twice. It happens though oops.

Yes It was definitely good seeing you in Amsterdam! It was perfect weather too compared to the day before!

It was great that it was international configured but I'm sure I would of bought the wifi or something. Something to keep me more entertained.


You are welcome! Thanks for reading!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 20):

Goedenavond Eric! You are always welcome to come to Chicago. Just don't come in the winter time. That's when I hibernate. Seriously. Anywhere you go really all the touristy spots are expensive even in my city of Chicago, certain things are just not worth purchasing in the city compared to the suburbs.

You live in an amazing country filled with great people and with such a rich history of art and aviation. I will definitely be back before my passport expires!

Met vriendelijke groetjes!

Leo/ORD

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