Hello everyone, and welcome to the second and final installment of my latest Flight-Report series! This series covers a weekend trip to Amsterdam that I took at the beginning of 2020, back when the Covid-19 pandemic was more-or-less localized within Asia, meaning that travel was still possible. Those were the days… Hopefully the crisis will be over soon, and the skies will re-open.
This trip consisted of two Transavia flights on two types of 737NGs: the short -700 to Rotterdam, and the 'regular' -800 back down to Innsbruck. This trip marked my first time flying with both Transavia and the 737-700.
On the Great Circle Mapper:
Even though my destination was Amsterdam, I flew into Rotterdam on the inbound, due to the fact that an INN-AMS roundtrip was more expensive than buying two one ways. The INN-RTM segment cost €46, and this AMS-INN segment cost €41, so the total airfare was only €87, which is a great deal, and made me realize that more of these little weekend getaways would be possible in the future.
I purposely chose the last flight of the day so that I'd still be able to enjoy Amsterdam in the morning and early afternoon. Depending on the day and the season, Transavia operates between 1 and 3 flights per day between Amsterdam and Innsbruck. As it was a Sunday during the winter season, there were 3 departures that day: one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and my flight, in the evening.
After a morning stroll through De Pijp, the area of Amsterdam where I was staying and a marvelous Turkish lunch at Saray Lokanta (which by the way I highly recommend visting!), it was time to head to Schiphol. An Uber picked me up at my awesome little design hotel, the Sir Albert, and I was off.
I thought that the journey to Schiphol from the city was very long, but much to my surprise I ended up seeing airplanes about 15 minutes after leaving my hotel.
A few minutes later, my driver dropped me off at the curb.
I checked-in with the Transavia app and therefore bypassed the check-in desk. Before heading airside, though, I checked out the observation deck, and the KLM Fokker 100 that lives there.
Nice view, especially on sunny days.
Inside the Fokker, the cockpit instruments have been replaced by stickers. AvGeeks cannot be fooled!!
The view from what once was 1A…
I couldn't take a shot of the cabin because there were other people, but here's a row of seats.
One last look at the Fokker before heading back inside.
Going through a passage to security.
Security took quite a while, but I wasn't in much of a hurry, so it didn't really bother me. Once I was through, I found myself in the maze of Schiphol Airport. AMS feels much bigger than a lot of airports, though perhaps that's because it's one terminal with many piers, as opposed to a few terminals.
I followed the signs for the lounges, which would lead me to the Priority Pass lounge.
The Priority Pass lounge is operated by Aspire, and is located a few levels above the departure level.
I was greeted by two very friendly lounge dragons and headed into the lounge. The lounge is rather small for such a large airport, but it was pretty empty at the time of my visit. The design is minimal, but also modern and nice.
I sat on one of the comfortable chairs by the window, as nobody was there and I was able to put my feet up.
Unfortunately, there wasn't a good view from the lounge. Occasionally I saw some landings in the distance, but nothing really exciting.
The food selection was also disappointing. The only hot food on offer was a tomato soup, and the only other options were cold cuts and cheese. While not a lot, it all tasted good.
I left the lounge to take a quick walk around the terminal and take a look at some traffic and survey the premises. Here's a KLM 737-700 'Blauwe Kiekendief / Hen Harrier' to Paris Charles de Gaulle.
Transavia 737-800 from Fuerteventura next to a KLM 737-800 'Blauwstaart / Blue Tail' to Newcastle.
When I got to what would be my gate, I learned about a 45-minute delay. Not a problem though, as it meant more time at the airport, and there's no place I'd rather be than an airport. Especially one as big as Schiphol ?
I ended up going back to the lounge to wait out the delay, but I didn't take anymore photos of the lounge. A few minutes after the scheduled boarding time, I headed back to the gate.
Still no aircraft at the gate.
The gate area.
At 5:30 PM, the scheduled departure time, our chariot showed up after being 1 hour late from Larnaca.
My ride down to Innsbruck was Transavia's fifth-oldest aircraft, PH-HZJ. It was built in May 2000 and delivered to Transavia that same month, making it a little less than 20-years old at the time of the flight. While owned by Transavia for its entire life, it had also been leased out to Air Berlin and Sun Country Airlines.
I was the gate lice of the flight and was the first one down the jetbridge.
Blurred fuselage shot.
Transavia signature welcome sign at the door.
I was greeted by a very chipper flight attendant and headed into the cabin. Note that on the right hand side of the cabin (left on the picture), two of the rows had Transavia's new seats, while the rest where all old seats. Weird.
Legroom was about the same as on the previous flight, but the seat was in worse condition. You can see all the wear and tear on the seatback pocket.
Nice wing view from row 10.
Once everyone was onboard, the captain introduced himself as well as the first officer and told us that it'll be a flight time of 1h10m to Innsbruck with some bumps along the way. With that, we pushed back from the gate.
Beginning our short taxi to Runway 24.
Vaarwel, Nederland! Thanks for a great weekend.
Left turn to the south.
Cabin after departure.
Closeup of the CFM56.
The crew started the service as soon as the seatbelt sign was switched off. They were all very friendly and seemed to enjoy their jobs. I didn't buy anything on the flight. Annoyingly, there was a group of 12 Tyrolean guys in the two rows in front of me who were being super loud and immature during the entire flight. Their behavior included slamming into each others seats and spraying each other with water. Thankfully it was a short flight, and none of their actions involved me.
Transavia's route network. Note that AMS-SOF ended on March 30th, so the only nonstop from Sofia to Amsterdam is now the daily Bulgaria Air flight.
Appropriate article in the Enjoy! magazine ?
Cruising. The entire flight was slightly choppy, like the captain said.
Passing some German town. Might have been either Aalen or Heidenheim an der Brenz, but I'm not sure.
Once we were already in our descent and passing Munich, the captain came back on the PA to announce that we weather in Innsbruck was partially cloudy and that it had just rained. The remaining flight time was announced as 20 minutes.
Passing through some rain.
Beginning our approach.
Some lights in the Inn Valley.
Over the airport.
Touchdown smackdown on Runway 26 at 7:45 PM, 40 minutes behind schedule, after being in the air for 1h5m.
So much reverse thrust that water on the runway was thrown in the air! Full reverse thrust on a 737 really is a special feeling.
Vacating the runway. In Innsbruck, the landings and braking are much hard than usual, because the runway is only 6,562 feet long.
Company 737-800 from Eindhoven.
One final look at my seat.
The nose of our 737.
Our departure out of Schiphol had us flying toward the southwest. After flying straight towards Essen, we turned toward Munich and flew right past Frankfurt on the way. We began our descent towards Innsbruck near the Bavarian town of Nördlingen. We cruised at 33,000 feet until Frankfurt and 35,000 from there until our descent. We approached Innsbruck from the eastern Inn Valley.
Travelling with just a backpack, I was in a cab within a minute of the bus pulling up to the terminal, and was home around 10 minutes later. Gotta love the ease of small airports! Thanks for reading this report, and I hope to see you in the next series, covering my last trip before the Covid pandemic stopped me from travelling: a quick week in my most frequent destination.
Yet another enjoyable short Transavia in Europe
+ Very well priced tickets
+ Friendly, enthusiastic crew
+ Good BoB menu
+- Comfortable Aspire Lounge in Amsterdam with poor food options
- Old, worn out 737
- No enterntainment/WiFi
I will definitely fly Transavia again as the bang for buck is really, really good, but I hope to get a newer 737 in future. I love old birds, but this aircraft wasn't well maintained on the inside.