The airline with the best average rating is KLM with 7.4/10.
The average flight time is 11 hours and 14 minutes.More information
I really longed to go back to the USA where I hadn't been in almost a year, and a good friend of mine had relocated to California where I had never been.
The month of November and its 2 public holidays allowed to take a week of vacation while using only 4 days of vacation time, and in spite of the distance, I was more than happy to go the West Coast.
At the time of booking, AF and KL were 100€ more per person than Norwegian, for a much, much better experience.
Besides, KLM which is my favourite airline, would turn 100 years old in October and flying them on that month was the best way to celebrate them.
The routing would be CDG-AMS-LAX-CDG with KLM and Air France on the way back.
The CDG-AMS won't be reported though.
We had a 1H20 connection at AMS, and after a lenghty passport control process at AMS because of a confusion on my last name by the Dutch Police, boarding was underway by the time we got to our gate.
Today's plane, a 777-200 in KLM Asia livery, named Iguazu Falls
With my Flying Blue Silver status we skipped the queue and used the Sky Priority lane, the boarding agent was friendly and surprised I could speak Dutch.
A quick pic from the jetway
Fuselage shot with the nice 100 years sticker
Greetings were standard but each crew member we passed did say "Hello".
The cabin was already well filled, hence no seat picture.
I gambled and selected a window and aisle seat during booking, hoping for an empty middle seat, but no luck, a girl was already seated there, she gladly accepted to trade for the aisle seat.
The screen and the nice pitch, those slimline seats enable.
Outside was this nice Xiamen Air 789, I love their livery
Boarding finished quickly and a few seats were still empty, but there was an announcement that we were waiting for connecting passengers.
This flight would definitely be full as often on KL.
I had preordered the model of the 787-10 in the special 100 years livery and a steward delivered it to my seat during the wait.
Crew then handed out earphones which were not the best.
About the crew the 2 female FA working our section were smiling and engaging during the boarding process, a good sign.
Our 789 neighbour departed in the meantime.
After 20 minutes, our missing connecting passengers (from Germany) finally arrived and 10 minutes later, we pushed back 30 minutes behind schedule.
Our captain announced a flight time of 10h40 which meant we'd still arrive on time.
Safety video using the Delft tiles was played
After a quick taxi to the nearby runway (fortunately no Polderbaan for today) we lined up.
Note the Icelandair 753 in the special Independance livery.
We finally lifted off, almost 45 minutes behind schedule.
Our climb was slow with such a full load.
We soon passed above the dense cloud layer over the English Channel.
We were then handed a thick wet towel, a bottle of water and a postcard that doubled as a discount on duty free purchases above 100€.
This service replaced the drinks and snack service previously offered.
Though the bottle of water is nice, this certainly saves the airline money on catering.
Also they did not collect any trash after that, although many people had used the wet towel and/or opened their blanket and having all that collected would have been nice when you don't have much room in Y class.
Lunch was then served, choice was beef or pasta, I went for the pasta with a gin & tonic
The pasta tasted ok, the cheese found in the box (with the sauce and crackers) was excellent.
The big salad is a good idea as it is filling and healthy.
Overall a decent meal for Y class.
We were flying over Ithe Atlantic by the time lunch was finished.
After meal trays were collected, we were approaching Iceland, the IFE was great with both a perfect rendering of our plane and many features and zooming possibilites. Having been to this beautiful country and to the towns of Höfn and Kirkjubaerjarklaustur, seeing them on the map made me remember that great trip.
Our plane, though not in the KLM Asia livery.
Hot drinks were then served, I went with coffee with Bailey's.
Then, we were treated to stunning views of Icelandic landscapes and glaciers.
More stunning landscapes of Western Iceland.
About 45 minutes after leaving Iceland, Greenland and its frozen landscapes came into view.
I then rested for about 1,5 hour using an eye mask I had brought.
KL should provide one on flights over 10 hours.
The legroom was good for Y class, better than on AF I think.
The thin seat got a bit hard after a while though.
The girl on the aisle seat went to the bathroom and we took advantage to get up as well.
I stood in the galley as the FA were serving an ice cream. So she handed it to passengers standing there before proceeding to serving the cabin.
Drinks and snacks were available, here's a selection of what was offered, not bad at all. (The picture was taken in the galley while no FA was there)
When the FA returned she asked if everything was alright, I said yes and asked if she wanted us to leave the galley but the said no.
We then talked for about 30 minutes about KLM, planes, this trip to LA, from which they would not directly return, as they were heading to Costa Rica to work the return inaugural flight from Liberia to Amsterdam.
She was really friendly and when I mentionned the official book published for KLM Birthday which I thought I could not get in Dutch, she gave the name of a Dutch bookshop where they could arrange the shipping to France.
While we were talking people were constantly coming into the galley for alcoholic drinks (which are not self service) but she remained friendly with everyone.
Such FAs are clearly why I go out my way to fly KLM. They offer the friendliest service in Y class IMO.
I then went back to my seat and passed the time with the IFE that offered a great selction of movies and music.
We finally entered the north american continent anf flew over Canada for a long time.
Somewhere near Calgary
After 8 hour, this flight started to get long, 10,5 hours is actually my limit if flying economy class.
Pre arrival snack was served, it consisted in a cabbage and apple salad, an average pizza and a tasty coconut mousse desert.
I ordered Ginger ale to go with that.
Hot drinks were then offered and I asked for coffee in an effort wake me up as it was close to 23h in Europe and we had gotten up at 6:30 that morning.
We flew over Idaho and then Nevada where we'd start our descent.
20 minutes before landing the Pacific Ocean appeared.
We overflew LAX before doing a 180° turn to align to the runway.
Downtown Los Angeles
Right before we landed we overflew the famous In N Out Restaurant and spotting location, you can actually see some spotters.
We touched down 10 minutes ahead of schedule after 10h25 minutes.
After short taxi we stopped at our gate at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, next to this SU 77W
However it took some time for the jetway to be connected and only 15 minutes later did we disembark.
Our very friendly FA shook my hand during deboarding and said how nice it was to meet me.
First time this has happened to me!
Immigration took 1 hour as we had arrived after the LH, SV and QR flights.
It had been a long time since I had waited that long at US customs, and the agent was rude.
A very good flight with KLM.
The new seats offer a good legroom even if they're a bit hard.
IFE was splendid.
Catering was decent, AF offers more tasty meals though.
Crew was superb for economy class, I wanted to fly KLM for their birthday and the very friendly FA sure made that flight special.