Hi folks. Just a quick intro telling you that the pictures in this report were not made with a professional camera and some of them are not horizontal. This is because of the time I took making them. I make them for a memory instead of making a report and some of them were saved for sending to others on my phone. These are unedited and I am using them to tell you about my experience. I hope you don't mind.
This series consists of 4 parts: AMS - CDG on KLM 737-700 (click here) CDG - LAX on Air France A380 (click here) LAX - JFK on Delta 767-300 (click here) JFK - AMS on KLM 777-200 (soon)
Initially I had booked KLM to Los Angeles for the weekend (quick visit of both the area and a convention in the area). I booked this in May through KLM.
I had selected my combi of flights routing me directly to LAX on a combi 747 and back home via JFK on Delta to a KLM 777 back home.
Due to the first one being cancelled, I was rerouted through Paris.
This part covers the second part of my trip home, JFK-AMS on a KLM 777-200.
At the airport
I was inside terminal 4 and boy, was I hungry. And tired! This combi is a hell. I réally did not have any appetite. I ended up buying another portion of fruit to kill some hunger, but I soon enough found out that it was not nearly enough to keep me comfortable until the meal on board. JFK did not offer anything small enough, yet filling enough, to do the trick, to my disappointment.
I connected to the WiFi to check the seat map, and saw that 12C was occupied, but 12B was empty. I had confidence that it would stay that way.
I found the gate which was only 2 away from my arrival gate. People were already asked to check in large pieces of hand luggage because of the busy flight. However, at that point, noone was responding.
I was standing around the gate and entered the queue for general boarding (I was in economy comfort, KLM's premium economy-like product which gives you extra legroom and recline, which cost me 60 euro's for this flight, worth every cent). People were asked to have their passports checked for the gate agents to know that they in fact were leaving with their valid passports for the European Union. When I showed them my boarding pass, they told me I needed to be in the priority lane. Okay, I guess, so I joined that queue. Boarding was called about 10 minutes later for passengers needing assistance or travelling with children under 2, followed by SkyPriority passengers (Business class, Flying Blue Gold, Platinum and Skyteam Elite passengers), followed by Flying Blue Silver and to my surprise, economy comfort passengers. I boarded without having to show my passport again and found my seat.
View of my aircraft, PH-BQC, named "Chichen-Itza"
A trusted dash of blue :-)
My seat, 12A
Corporate legroom shot, with oceans of space
Window view, accepted!
The new economy seat in the 777. Seat config was changed from 3-3-3 to 3-4-3, something people are complaining about. I however, am not that big in terms of being fat or something, so I did not mind. The new screen is 9" and decently lit, which is nice.
I was one of the first on board in economy class, in the forward section. So I settled in.
It took about 30 more minutes for boarding to complete. Not only the middle seat, but the aisle seat as well, remained empty. So was the middle set of seats in row 14… I chose to remain in 12A, not feeling quite well.
We pushed back a bit behind schedule but the captain promised that we would make up that time and probably arrive early. The safety video was played as well, which was renewed. It is a stop motion film of Delft Blue tiles, typically Dutch. If you have not seen it, I suggest you check it out.
We took off from what I think was runway 13R, turned in northeasterly direction. I was still hungry and my blood sugar turned low as well, so I took a few sweets which made me feel better a bit.
When the cabin filled with smell of food, I started to feel worse again. A cabin attendant came by with food and asked if I wanted meat or pasta. I took the pasta and found out it was a spinach ravioli kind of pasta. I nicked the roll and gave the food back, telling the attendant I really did not feel like having food, but asked for another roll to nibble on slowly. He gave me two and I thanked him. I took about 15 minutes to eat these and felt better. I had some water with it and later a glass of orange juice. It remained quiet for some time and I tried to nap for a while.
The menu on the IFE, which was incorrect.
Then, this message showed up on the screen.
I pre-ordered a scale model of KLM's Orange Pride livery 777-300 (PH-BVA, named "Hoge Veluwe National Park") and thought I would receive it. It took forever though, so I chose to visit the loo. The lavatory was clean. When I came out, the cart passed my seat already, but was in the middle of the aisle. This took forever.
When the cart passed me, I returned to my seat. I watched some airshow, which is really cool (some sort of 3D multi-touch globe, with a triple seven displayed and the route flown), and some cockpit video's (for example, an approach to St Maarten airport). I then fell asleep, to wake up when other passengers already finished their breakfast as they were removing the trash. When I asked for a box, I was told descent would start very soon and that the breakfast cart was stowed already. Too bad then, breakfast at AMS it is.
As promised, descent started véry soon, within 3 minutes of that message, with the captain announcing that it was around 10:45 and about 18 degrees in Amsterdam and that we would land on the infamous Polderbaan 18R, which would mean a long taxi time. Arrival gate was announced as G06 and belt was announced 15. Useful information.
I mounted my camera on the window and started recording about 5-10 minutes out. Approach wasn't particularly special as a Dutch citizen and landing was smooth. We were welcomed to Amsterdam and again the gate information was announced by the senior purser.
I switched on my mobile phone and was welcomed by my dad and my friends. I saw my plane on the Plane Finder app, which was cool. I did some spotting and found the 747 I flew on in February from AMS to IAH standing at gate F03, where I departed as well. I checked the Schiphol app and found out that the 'new' Orange Pride livery was around, so I went to look for it at gate E22. Baggage was announced to arrive 30 minutes later, so I had enough time. Video of the landing.
PH-BFL "City of Lima", a full-passenger B747-400
PH-BFS "City of Seoul", a combi B747-400, which I was on in February
View from the jetway at AMS
PH-BVA "De Hoge Veluwe National Park", a 777-300ER painted in the Orange Pride livery.
I was then at the E-pier, while my bag was in arrival hall 3. I should have gone down to arrivals level at pier F to reach that. Not G, not E. I, still not feeling completely well, mistakenly used the wrong exit, finding myself in a long line for passport control. My turn was over very quickly, I was waived through in 10 seconds, the officer asking me where I came from. I then was in hall 2, and I needed to walk a long corridor to hall 3, where my bag was already on the belt. Having collected my bag, I bought a first class supplement on my ov-chipkaart for the train, on the ticket machine which was conveniently placed in the baggage reclaim area (the machines at the station itself are BUSY!!), went through the green customs channel and found my train out of the airport.
New York - JFK
Amsterdam - AMS
The flight itself was nice. I slept for áges, about 4,5 hours. Simply amazing.
Even though I was not feeling well, the crew did their best, were friendly, the entertainment was nice. KLM is still my favorite airline and I suppose that will stay so.
JFK airport was a bit of a letdown, but it was clean, sanitary was clean, so I don't have much to complain. Schiphol Airport still is a breeze when arriving.
I hope you enjoyed the series and I hope you will stay tuned for a few months for my next trip in February, when I travel back to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas on KLM's 787 Dreamliner, full passenger 747-400 and Delta's Embraer 175.
Thanks for reading!
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