Hello and welcome to this review.
I believe it was 5 years ago since my last review here. I guess I was somehow too busy and lazy to write reviews additionally to my youtube reviews. Let me introduce myself again and put some context into this report. I'm Edouard, 22yo french avgeek and student, I'm running the youtube channel: Airline Spotter, maybe you know it! :D
Literally, five years ago I started my studies at University in France and I'm now currently studying design at the Glasgow School of Art. My studies took a lot of my free time, therefore I had to give up writing here and slowing down my uploads on my channel. If you are a dear follower, I'm very sorry for the lack of content over the last few years.
Saying this you might wonder: "what the hell is he doing here then?". Very good question and I will answer it quite shortly. This 5 year slow down made me reflect a lot. I've realized over the year doing flight reviews has been more and more popular and has lead to some unhealthy competition sometimes. Today I want to focus on making quality reviews with a little "twist" related to my studies, a more "design-y" approach to making reviews. So now I can say I'm "doing" something a bit more tied to my very unrelated studies. That's it!
If you enjoy watching reviews on YT, here's the one from the report. Please feel free to wander around the channel there's a lot of other reviews you might maybe enjoy! And subscribe if you don't want to miss the upcoming stuff!
Enough talking let's dive into the real thing here. Planes.
So as mentioned above, I moved to Glasgow 2 years ago for my studies and often fly back and forth to France. Turns out KLM is the cheapest and most flexible option to fly home. Like a lot of french people caught in the lockdown panic, I flew back in March. Although I did not plan this thing to last so long, so I thought I'd pack nothing. Turns out I need my stuff to live normally, so I flew back to Scotland to bring my personal stuff back home for the summer.
After a few days in Quarantine in my flat, I'm now at Glasgow Airport. We're on the 28th of June, Scotland is still in some kind of lockdown. Taking a Uber from the city center, it costs around 15£ and 15min to go to GLA airport. There's also an express bus for 8.5£ leaving from the city center.
A dead drop-off zone.
Heading into the terminal I found out how dead the place is, and the worst is to come…
Only a small dozen flight leaving each day instead of the usual 50-80 flight per day that Glasgow handles normally. At the time Loganair largely dominated with connection to the Highlands and the Hebrides and England. Since we are still quite early in the pandemic, no real and visible measures were in place at the time. Now signage and hand-sanitiser stations are all over the terminal. The check-in only took 10min, around 40pax are expected on our flight to Amsterdam today.
Fun or maybe terrifying thing is to discover the airside. Instead of walking through the duty-free immediately after security, I was greeted with a marvelous terrifying off-circuit corridor leading to the airside.
No life on the tarmac and nothing in the different areas of the airside. No restaurants/shops or cafés were open, only a couple of vending machines.
Quick reminder, the airport is now back and almost fully running (on the day of posting).
Glasgow was sadly hosting a spot for grounded planes, Jet2 in the foreground and BA in the back.
Our ride arrived a little after discovering the ugly truth.
Our plane today is an Embraer 190 registered PH-EZW and delivered to KLM inn 2012. It features the new livery which is gorgeous.
Boarding was completed in 10mins, the plane was approximately 30% full. I had no neighbor and almost no people around me.
Classic KLM ERJ seats, nothing unusual. Seats are quite wide and offer a very good legroom.
Pushing back early.
Taxiing next to some Jet2 grounded 737s, a Loganair SAAB 340.
Two gone too soon Dash 8s :'( and a Beechcraft watching us go.
Holding short runway 23 and watching this BA A320 coming from London Heathrow.
Took-off with a view on the grounded fleet on BA's Airbuses, we climbed super fast thanks to our very light payload.
We reached our cruising altitude quite fast and service started shortly after.
While climbing let's check out some of the cabin features.
As said above, the E-190 is very roomy, offers a lot of space for the legs and wideness. The cabin itself is relatively modern, maybe a bit worn but still very nice looking and comfortable. Magazines are still available on KLM and feature an "anti-bacterial" paper to limit the spread.
Headrest features a leather cover with KLM's logo. Very subtle and nice looking. There's no direct lighting on the E-jets which makes the lighting in the cabin less agressive and adds a touch of modernity.
Food and drinks were offered on this flight. Not every drink was normally available at that time. Only the basic, water, softs, juices, and maybe beer.
The little box contains a pretty good sandwich, water, biscuit, and a tissue.
Since we were only 30-40pax, crew did a second round and offered everyone another snack box. Very attentive and nice touch!
While finishing my snack we're already approaching the channel.
We rapidly commenced our decent and the crew started to prepare the cabin for our arrival.
A quick note on the crew, they were very lovely and very attentive while staying professional ensuring everyone were respectful of the measures in place.
Landing at Polderbaan runway and taxiing to the E-jets parking.
Some KLM aircraft were still grounded and going through some maintenance.
Here you can have a sneak peek of the new concourse of Schipol airport. Scheduled to open in December 2020!
Quick overview of the seat before leaving
Immigration went super fast as almost nobody was flying at the time. Heading to my next gate for my flight back home.
That's it for me today. The whole experience was really nice on KLM even though massive restrictions were in place.
All ground staff and crew were very friendly and definitely happy to be working that day. Everything is less stressful and smoother except for the additional paperwork you may encounter.
Great to see that KLM wasn't cost-cutting too much even that early into the pandemic.
I hope you enjoyed this short report, please don't hesitate to ask me anything if you have any questions! I hope I can keep up with writing more of these and still be able to upload my youtube reviews aside. (Link to my channel here).
Overall a lovely flight back to mainland Europe. Great crew, great service onboard KLM!
Definitely very sad to see such a dead airport in Glasgow, thankfully this is not the case anymore and slowly going back to life. The whole experience of flying seems smoother as there are way fewer passengers, although the additional paperwork to enter different countries might be a bit overwhelming sometimes.
Schipol airport was running, as usual, almost all shops and restaurant were open, with social distancing measures, etc, etc
Thank you very much for reading me! I hope you enjoyed it and it was complete enough! See you hopefully very soon in the next one!