Review of TUI fly flight Amsterdam Willemstad in Premium Eco

Airline TUI fly
Flight OR363
Class Premium Eco
Seat 14A
Aircraft Boeing 787-8
Flight time 09:35
Take-off 28 Aug 15, 12:35
Arrival at 28 Aug 15, 16:10
TB 30 reviews
danny_89
By 5339
Published on 10th November 2015
28/08/2015 12.05 OR363 AMS - CUR This Report
05/09/2015 20.00 OR368 CUR - AMS Next Report

On the last friday morning in August my 9-day holiday trip to Curacao started at Schiphol Airport. I booked this trip with travel organization Arke (since October 1st being called TUI) with the knowledge that we would fly in one of their 3 new Boeing 787-800 Dreamliners (PH-TFK, PH-TFL ad PH-TFM). Arke offers 4 different classes within its Dreamliner-fleet, Star Class (comparable with Economy class at KLM, drinks and food included, as well as 114 cm legroom), Premium Comfort Class (same as Star Class but with only 94 cm of legroom), Comfort Class (1 drink and 1 meal included, 84 cm legroom), and Economy (same as Comfort Class, but with only 76 cm of legroom). I opted for Comfort Class and knew that our plane would only have Star, Comfort and Economy Class (this configuration is available on the PH-TFK and PH-TFL), while Premium Comfort is only available in stead of Star Class at the PH-TFM machine.

After arriving 3 hours before take-off at the airport, and experiencing 30 minutes waiting in a long line for the self-service check-in counters I continued to Schiphol’s newly build central security.
photo IMG_7254
The long line in front of Arke's self-service desks.

Instead of directly going through passport control and security at the gate, now Schiphol created a security zone (similar tot he Schengen control area), after which the passport control takes place, which means no more controls at the gate. Everything went quite fast and within 15 minutes I arrived behind the entire security area. After relaxing and having a coffee and a small snack I continued tot he gate, which was at the G-pier (G5) this time, where PH-TFL was waiting for us.
photo IMG_7263
PH-TFL waiting at Gate G5 for its departure to Montego Bay, in the back a Garuda B773 and Arke's PH-TFK at Gate G7.

However, Arke decided to make a last-minute change and changed my flight to gate G7 where PH-TFK, Arke’s first Dreamliner named #dreamcatcher was standing.
photo IMG_7265
The Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner I was flying in to Curacao today, PH-TFK nicknamed '#dreamcatcher'.

Boarding started on-time and first Star Class passengers (row 1-3), elderly people and parents with young childeren were invited to come on board, followed by Economy passengers in the back (rows 35-45), then rows 25-34, followed by Comfort passengers in row 6 to 19 and last but not least the remaining passengers.
photo IMG_7279
Sign at Gate G7 showing the boarding process had being started.
photo IMG_7281_2
Entrance door of the Boeing 787.

When I arrived at row 14 at my seat I found a comfortable seat and similar legroom as I experienced with KLM's Economoy Comfort at its B772.
photo IMG_7325_2
Seats on row 14 A, B and C.
photo IMG_7324_2
Seats on row 14 D, E and F and G, H, K in the back.
photo IMG_7306_2
The obligatory legroom shot, plenty of legroom for my legs for my length (1.77).

The flight did not depart on time after a smooth boarding process, since they encountered some problems with the bagage delivery. In the end the plane was being pushed back at 12.32 lt, and after a 12 minute taxi it became airborne at 12.44 lt via runway 24 (also known as ‘Kaagbaan’) in a south-westernly direction.
After 15 minutes into flight the cabin crew served out headphones for the entertainment system. Only passengers in Star Class will get those for free, other passengers can book the entertainment system (including the headphones) in advance for €7,50 and the ones who ordered them also got the headphones at this time. Passengers who wanted to activate the system in-flight could buy it on board for €10, so at this point I ‘saved’ €2,50 compared to that.
photo IMG_7282
The entertainment screen in front of me, the same as being used in the refurbished KLM B772s.

Right after this, the crew served out a glass of water and a cookie.
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Glass of water and a white chocolate-cranberry chip cookie.

In the meantime we flew in a straight line from the Dutch coast tot the west over England in the direction of Dublin.
The crew then turned off the normal mood lights and turned on the special color lights, and a special color show was visible for a couple of minutes!
photo IMG_7290
The fancy rainbow color show.
photo IMG_7293_2
City of Dublin.

After having passed Dublin, the cabin crew started to serve out the meals, together with a glass of water. Choices fort he menu were chicken and vegetarian noodles. I opted for the chicken, with next to it a small salad, crackers with cheese and as a dessert profiteroles (because the airline Arke(fly) existed 10 years this year).
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Dinner included a few pieces of chicken, potatoes and vegetables, a small salad, crackers with old cheese and a 'surprise' dessert.
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The dessert: profiteroles.

Having enjoyed the dinner I decided to watch a movie for some hours and afterwards I went to the bathroom, which looks okay, however it was not cleaned that extensively during the flight as during my previous KLM-flights to New York (KLM crew cleaned all toilets several times, now it was cleaned only once).
photo IMG_7298_2
The toilet experience was okay, the Dreamliner mood lights were also here visible, but the space is still small.

I also made a walk though the Economy-zone of the plane, and could conclude that the normal Economy seat does not give too much comfort to the passengers there because of the narrow legroom of 76 cm.
photo IMG_7302_2
Economy Comfort zone of this Boeing 787-800 reaches from row 10 (first row in the back) till row 19, followed by Economy seats.
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View out of one of the window next to the center toilets over the wing of the B788.

The flight continued over the Atlantic Ocean in a straight line 400 kilometers westernly of the Azores towards the Northern Antilles. Also a KLM Airbus 330 was flying next to us, most probably the KL767 to Bonaire and Aruba which departed approximately half an hour earlier than us.
photo IMG_7301_2
A KLM Airbus 330-200 (PH-AOC) flying to Bonaire.

After some time we passed the KLM and left it behind, showing that this Dreamliner indeed flies faster then most other aircraft. The Dreamliner is also famous because of its larger windows which can be adjusted manually darker and lighter, being really handy and fancy for the passenger.
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The larger window of the B788, adjustable by the passengers themselves.

After having passed the Nothern Antilles the crew started the descent towards Curacao and passengers were served a small piece of candy (peppermint).
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Peppermint and the flight map, showing that the destination was almost being reached.
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View over Curacao's northern coast and the airport in the back.

After one turn tot he right we made a nice long left turn to the left over the north-eastern coast of Curacao and a smooth landing later we touched down at 16.06 lt at Hato Airport, located 12 km from the capital of Curacao, Willemstad.
photo IMG_7320_2
Curacao International Airport, also known as Hato Airport.

When the aircraft was being attached to the gate the Star Class passengers could leave the plane, after which it was my turn to leave the aircraft and after the crew wished me a pleasant stay at the island of Curacao.

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PH-TFK attached to one of the gates of Curacao's airport.

As a bonus, a few pictures from the beautiful island of Curacao:

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Handelskade Willemstad by Night/
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Handelskade Willemstad by day (view from Otrabanda).
photo IMG_7412_2
Christoffel mountain.
photo Andesmus_Christoffelpark_2
Sparrow on top of the Christoffel mountain.
photo GroteKnip1_2
Grote Knip beach, also known as Playa Abou.
See more

Verdict

TUI fly

7.5/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering7.5

Amsterdam - AMS

7.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness7.5

Willemstad - CUR

7.5/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

Overall I experienced a really comfortable flight on board of Arke's Dreamliner in the Comfort zone. During the flight a meal, two glasses of water, a cookie and a cup of coffee were offered and included in the ticket price. The Dreamliners features comfortable seats and legroom is fine in Comfort and Star Class. Entertainment system (not included in ticket price) is a bit overpriced, since there are only 20-30 movies available, 10-15 series, a variety of music and concerts and some games. After all I was not that tired of the trip, also because of the climate control system in the Dreamliner. Definitely worth the money to fly with the Dreamliner for 8+ hours!

Related

3 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 150314 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 10285 Comments
    Thanks for this report on board the dreamliner.
    You were inspired to choose premium economy seats as the legroom in the regular economy section seems very limited for such a long flight !
    The entertainment system looks good and the meal is quite good for a leisure airline. The pepermint candy is a nice touch before arriving.
  • Comment 150320 by
    KL651 TEAM 4535 Comments
    Thanks for this FR.

    I'm a bit confused by all the service classes. Basically you were in Y+?
    In regular Y meals have to be paid for?

    If the ticket was cheap then we can forgive the simple lunch and the absence of snack prior to arrival.

    The 787 is indeed always a bonus.
  • Comment 150322 by
    Luigispaghetti 118 Comments
    thank you for this very interesting and original report

    The number of classes (4) seems quite surprising to me, I would not have expected such tiny differences between the classes, apart from the pitch

    the air to air with the KL A330 is very nice, the airspeed difference is quite surprising as you probably flew 45' faster on this transatlantic leg

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