While my girlfriend came over from Thailand about a week prior to this flight for her very first time, we both really wanted to visit Auschwitz one day. I took this opportunity to book us a return flight to Kraków, which is the closest city to Auschwitz and probably one of Poland's most beautiful cities.
Kraków is not really the cheapest option to fly to from Amsterdam as only KLM offers you four daily flights or to use any other legacy carrier (+ DY) with a stopover. Transavia could be a choice too if you fly to Katowice from Amsterdam and take a bus from there to Kraków (if you fancy a 2 hour busride). Though Ryanair and Transavia give you an option for direct flights too from Eindhoven at very early or late timings, which were very inconvenient to me and quite expensive too.
So I came to the conclusion to use my air miles (which I barely touch anyways), which reduced my ticket by about 150 euros to a price I was willing to pay to head over to Kraków. Please do not confuse air miles with flying blue miles as it's something entirely different. The itinerary was completed as listed in the routing map directly below this column.
After three enjoyable days in Kraków, it was time to return back to the Netherlands. We decided once again to take the train ride for 9 PLN to Kraków Airport from Kraków Glówny (Main Station). The trains that run on those tracks are pretty modern.
Twenty minutes later we arrive at the airport's train station and we head up by escalator to the second floor.
The train station/Parking Garage is directly connected to Kraków's terminal via a bridge, which drops you directly in front of security. In case you do not have any baggage drop off and you did check in online, you could enter it immediately if you'd like.
In case you have to drop off your luggage or yet to check in, you could make a left from the bridge down by the escalator which will bring you in a pretty large departure hall where you can check in for your flight. The airport itself was pretty clean and well-maintained from what I saw.
Security was a bit crowded and took about twenty minutes more or less and once clear, it will drop you off directly in front of some shops for you to buy, but luckily it doesn't force you to walk through some shops to get to your gates.
You will find a tv screen through this hallway, which will display your gate. Our gate unfortunately was not known as of yet and said that we could expect any gate between 1 to 11 and that our gate will be known at 16.55 (which meant a wait of approximately 30 minutes from now.)
At the end of this hallway, you'll find your gates which are either to your left or to your right. The problem I have noticed with Kraków Airport is that it has some massive windows, but natural lighting is almost non-existing and lightning is a must. It also is very unfriendly for spotting aircraft.
While gates 1 to 5 were pretty crowded, I sat down at Gate 10 (flight would eventually depart from Gate 1) which had sufficient seating and was not too crowded.
Another shot from the waiting area near gate 1 and 2.
Our aircraft arrived a few minutes late, but boarding was called on time to Amsterdam. Ground staff was pretty non-responding and didn't say much to passengers…. even a single greeting was often too hard to say. As our aircraft was on a remote stand, we were bussed to our aircraft shortly after.
Our aircraft for today was going to be PH-BXH, a 19.1 year old Boeing 737-800NG that was delivered to KLM on the 15th August 2000 and has been leased to Transavia Holland several times in it's lifespan to cover their summer schedule. (note that Transavia is also part of AF-KLM group)
As row 10 is located in front of the cabin, I decided to board via the front steps which gave us a beautiful view like the photo below.
Upon entering the aircraft, I was cheerfully greeted by two flight attendants and made my way to seat 10F. It was an older cabin with a minimal legroom for a flight of approximately 2 hours. Yes, it was ok, although I would've expected more from it.
The overhead panel with air vents you can control yourself.
Seat 10F had some good views of the engine and wing, however my window was full of scratches though I found a way to capture some photos. A small tip for you, if you fly an older cabin with KLM's 737, try to avoid seat 10A to C as those seats have no window. Both sides of Row 11 are not great too.
The usual literature you can find in your seat pocket.
A look of the cabin.
After the pilots checked in with us, we were pushed back from our stand about five minutes past our departure time and gave us a view of the three biggest European LCC airlines. An EasyJet A320 (who was delayed by 2hour for a flight to Manchester, A Wizzair A321 and two Ryanair Boeing 737-800s.
8 minutes past 6 pm we were rolling for a westerly departure towards Amsterdam.
Breaking through the cloud layer and you can obviously see those scratches from my photos as my camera managed to focus on the wing somehow at a certain angle to capture such photos.
A closer look of that beautiful CFM56 engine with a KLM logo on it.
Despite cabin crew being quite old, they were one of the finest I've had in a very longtime. They were very cheerful, caring and engaging and food service was initiated about 40 minutes after our departure. We received a multigrained sandwich with a beemster cheese salad spread and I opted for a red wine, which is a Cabernet-Sauvignon/Shiraz of The Elements by Julien Schaal from South Africa. Upon ordering that wine, the flight attendant immediately asked if I wanted to have a cup of water too before I was able to ask.
While the sandwich was ok to eat, the box it was served in came with some nice information to it in regards to Beemster cheese and you can find it in the gallery below here if you want to know something about it.
I also love how KLM is displaying their tissues with some windmills and a plane flying above it.
Cabin crew came around again like 30 minutes later to clean our trash and we were not served another round of drinks like we were on the previous flight to Kraków, but understandable as the 737 can carry about 70 to 80 people more on board. The payload was heavy too as J class was 100% (8/8) and Y class was about 95% (spotted about 5 to 6 empty seats throughout the entire flight).
A shot of the flightpath we took.
Sunset was slowly appearing when the first officer checked in to inform us that we will start our descent shortly into Amsterdam and we would arrive on time. It also meant that cabin crew jumped into action and one of the flight attendant started to check in with those who had connecting flights to give them more information. She also took some time with a Spanish couple to inform them that their flight towards Valencia was unfortunately canceled and that they would have to go to one of the service desks in the terminal to receive a boarding card.
Landing was performed on 36R, which meant a short ride to our gate.
A stunning sky was setting behind the airport with a Boeing 737-700 of KLM prepping for another flight.
An A320 of TAP was ready for it's flight to Lisbon as TP671.
We parked next to an Airbus A319 of Austrian (OE-LDA), which was immediately pushed back after we came to an halt for it's flight to Vienna as OS376.
One last look of the aircraft that brought us back to Amsterdam.
And off we were to exit the airport and catch a train to home, which could've been chaotic as many trains were canceled due to a track fault towards Amsterdam and a Champions league game from Ajax facing Lille OSC, which Ajax gladly won by 3-0, but luckily enough it was very very quiet.
Despite the legroom being tighter than I expected, the flight was pretty good as cabin crew did an outstanding job. Kraków airport is clean, but not really an exciting airport as spotting is almost impossible.