Review of KLM flight Amsterdam Montreal in Economy

Airline KLM
Flight KL671
Class Economy
Seat 31J
Flight time 07:40
Take-off 16 Nov 13, 15:20
Arrival at 16 Nov 13, 17:00
KL   #44 out of 122 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 529 reviews
KL651
By 7084
Published on 19th November 2013
Welcome to a special Fligh Report on the amazing MD11.

Some of you already knew how much I was eager to fly on this beautiful plane before its retirement.
As KLM is the last airline operating it for passenger flights, it was the only option, and the available destinations were also limited: YUL everyday or YYZ and SFO on select days.
I kept on checking airfares, taking into account that I had trips planned until the end of the year, and therefore had to do a return flight in 48H, so when flying just flying I was waiting for promotional offer.
As I had been to Montreal two times already, it wasn't too bad to only spend a night there.
In June, it happened and I found a great flight combination for a good price.

I booked it right away, the (original) routing was to be:

CDG-AMS: AF1740 / A321 (Nov 16th)
AMS-YUL: KL671 / MD11 (Nov 16th)
YUL-DTW: DL6113 / E145 (Nov 17th)
DTW-CDG: AF377 / A340 (Nov 17th)

Finally I was about to fly the MD11, as well as the A340 I had never taken on AF before (only on Ac and LA).

However, it turned out the routing would change, you'll see in the next part…

I won't report the CDG-AMS flight, as I already have published many, both on AF and KL.
Just a word on the crew who was great: friendly, smiling, some female FAs were wearing their red gloves and the captain made a welcome speech in the aisle, facing the passenger (pititom would have been thrilled!)

No FR, but nevertheless, here are a couple of original pictures of this flight

TAM 77W vacating the runway as we took off

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Our shadow on the clouds

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Giant wind turbines close to Schiphol right as we came out of the clouds

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And landing on the Polderbaan

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**********************

So there I was in AMS, with about one hour before boarding.

I headed to the lounge, Schiphol was already Christmas themed.

photo 20131116_140556


I was welcome in the Crown Lounge by a friendly agent, to whom I asked she could print me a real boarding pass (as I had a home printed one). The following discussion was held:

Agent: But this is a boarding pass Sir.
Me: I know but it's for my collection, and this flight is special it's operated by a MD11, so I want a souvenir.
Agent: Yes it has become a rare airplane. So you collect boarding passes. Are you a spotter too?
Me: Yes.
Agent: Oh that's nice to hear! Of course I will print you a new boarding pass, but I'm sorry it won't be a KLM blue one, we changed system and now we only have white ones.
Me: Oh don't worry!
Agent: There is you boarding pass, welcome to the lounge and enjoy your flight on the MD11 sir!

Well, that's KLM at its best. Let's hope the cabin crew will be as friendly…

The Crown Lounge had been reported a couple of times already, so I will just add a few pictures.
I've never seen so many people in it, so taking pictures was difficult.

Only the smoking section was empty here it is

photo 20131116_142851


The food offering was limited

Some cheese biscuits and a vegetable salad

photo 20131116_141223

Cold cuts of ham and cheese

photo 20131116_142308

My selection, with a glass of the infamous Cremant instead of Champagne, but hey a girl has to have some bubbles right? ;-)

photo 20131116_141442

The cheese biscuits as well as the cheese slices were good, however the salad was bad, I didn't finish it.

After a while I decided to head to the gate in order to have time to take pictures of the plane.

On the way I passed this DL A330 that was parked next to a waiting lounge

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(And don't you see something special in the background?)

How often can you get this kind of winglet view? Schiphol is really unique for avgeeks!

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Then I walked really fast to my gate as I was so excited.

And there she is!!! How I love this plane.

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Today Audrey Hepburn (PH-KCE) would take me to YUL. As I love the actress it was all the more special!

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Close up of the General Electric CF6-80

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A view form the other side

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To quote KevinDC: Three holes are way better than two ;-)

There was another security screening at the gate, SkyPriority was enforced so I jumped eveybody, which caused some angry looks…

I finally boarded, from the jetbridge, a view to the Schiphol terrace, where I often stood watching the MD11

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The nose of our aircraft

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Ooooooh give to mama!!!!

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I was welcomed with a smile and proceeded to my seat

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The view from

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I was kinda disapointed to be so close to the wing, on every seat map I checked, 31J seemed further back.

The pitch was average

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The flight was completely full, as often on KL.

Right on time we pushed back, the purser made all the announcement in Dutch, English and perfect French.
She told us, there was a problem with IFE system, that they were reseting it, and asked us not to touch any button.

The engines were started, and some smoke came out

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Again, I show the unique jetbridges of Schiphol, passing over the aircraft's wings (though not used on this EY A330)

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Flaps were extended and spoilers were tested

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After a very quick taxi, we reached the Aalsmeerbaan

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And we took off, here's the video, I usually don't take any, but I wanted to remember that flight!



Never before I had experienced such a powerful take off!
Also, notice how steep the aircraft was right after rotation.

Entering the clouds

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Exiting the clouds with a strong bank on the right.

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I was amazed by the speed of the aircraft, it's not often you can realize it on an aircraft, but really you could see how quick we left the clouds behind

In no time we reached our cruising altitude and leveled off

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In the mean time, my IFE went on, but only the moving map was available

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The purser then made an announcement that the system seemed to work again, but that we would have to be patient and wait a little bit each time we pressed a button and to not press again if didn't work the first time.
In the end, the systemn worked just fine for the rest of the flight.

A refreshment was served, with the really delicious bites ;-) They're actually smoked almonds.
I ordered a Ginger Ale

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They also handed a postcard picturing the Milkmaid was handed, I thought it was a paper menu (a novelty as KLM didn't use a provide paper ones)

It was almost that actually ;-)

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A first word on the FA serving my row: she was cold. Efficient but not friendly, without being rude or anything, but she sure didn't make you feel welcome or anything.
It was bad luck, as I saw many smiling and friendly FAs on this flight, but they were serving other rows…

The collected remains of the refreshment and then passed out hot towels.

The meal was then served. I don't know why I forgot to check the meal section of the IFE.
I found out much later they were serving Dutch specialties of chicken sausages or beef meatballs.

As a result, when the FA announced a beef or chicken choice, I went for the chicken ang got this

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On a side not, they changed the cutlery which are now thick plastic ones

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So, my meal consisted in chicken sausage with mashed potatoes.

I'm not a difficult person when it comes to food, but this was not good!
It was eatable, but really barely.

The starter (coleslaw with pineapple chunks and raisins) and dessert (profiteroles) were good though.

This meal was the first disapointing one I had on KL.

In the meantime, we had started to cross the Atlantic

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Coffee, tea or digestive were offered by the same cold FA, I went for the Amarula (a bit like Baileys but better, East African will confirm…)

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After everything was cleared by the FAs, I went to stretch my legs.
In the galley, I asked a FA who looked more friendly if it was possible to visit the cockpit after landing.
She said yes and that I just had to ask any FA as I deboarded.

I also took the opportunity to take a pic from a window of the 4L door (which was badly scratched and tinted)

photo 20131116_182118


You can see the smaller downward winglet typical of the MD11


Then I went back to my seat, and watched an episode of Modern Family and Criminal Minds as I didn't find any movie that I liked on the IFE. The selection was good, but it was mostly blockbusters that I wasn't interested in.

I also listened to some music, the CD jukebox is really good, they had the great Caro Emerald.
I discovered a song perfectly suited for KevinDC (and many other here): Liquid Lunch ;-)

Both my seat neighbours were sleeping, so trapped in my seat I took pictures of details

The overhead bins

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A close up on the winglet

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Then en ice cream along with water was distributed by the crew.
I wasn't hungry at all so I didn't take it, just the water.

This mid flight snack is nice, but 2 hours after lunch and 2 hours before the arrival snack, that's too much for me.

Shortly after that, we entered the american continent, with first sights of snow

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One hour before landing, the arrival snack was offered, it was either a pizza or a hot pecan cake

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That was really good, except the cake made a lot of crumbles!
I asked a passing FA for a second one and she gave it to me with smile.

The sun was slowly setting, and it offered a very nice ligh effect on the forward window that was partially frozen

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The captain made an announcement about 35 min prior to landing to announce that we were beginning our descent

As we made a nice turn, a vortex appeared, generated by the strakes one can see on the engine

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As we neared the airport, flaps were deployed

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And deployed a little more

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Finally, we touched down very softly, and we slowed down nice and gently

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We reached our parking stand very quickly 10 minutes ahead of schedule, and stopped next to this LX A330 that was close to depart to ZRH

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As I about to exit the aricraft, the FA to whom I had asked to see the cockpit, asked me to follow her.

The copilot welcomed me and shook my hands, I told him I was impressed by the powerful take off, and he actually said, they used the minimum power today. I don't even imagine what full thrust take off must have been like!

He also said he'd miss the MD11 as it was a very nice aircraft to fly.

I asked if I could make some pictures, and he offered to turn back the screens on for the picture, though I said no

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Priceless !

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See more

Verdict

KLM

6.5/10
Cabin6.5
Cabin crew6.5
Entertainment7.0
Meal/catering6.0

KLM Crown Lounge - Schengen Terminal

7.9/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment8.5
Services10.0

Amsterdam - AMS

8.2/10
Efficiency10.0
Access5.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness10.0

Montreal - YUL

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

Well it was another pretty good flight with KL, although a more friendly FA would have been nice as it was a special flight for me.
Cabin was pretty confortable except for the legroom.
Well, the FA who served me deserved a 4/10 but the other friendly FAs and the pilot have to make me increase the grade.
The meals were the true disapointement, though it's a bit my fault as I didn't read the menu.
IFE was good with a lot of choices, even if I didn't find any movie to my liking, it's a matter of taste.

A special mention to the Crown Lounge agent.

Informations on the route Amsterdam (AMS) Montreal (YUL)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 11 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Amsterdam (AMS) → Montreal (YUL).


Useful

The airline with the best average grade is KLM with 7.4/10.

The average flight time is 8 hours and 13 minutes.

  More informations

14 Comments

  • Comment 93297 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 4352 Comments

    You finally got to take that MD11 flight before they are retired! It's a beautiful aircraft, but the cabin does look old. The seat pitch tends to be tight on KLM in Y, luckily I get free Economy Comfort. Too bad you got an unfriendly FA; that's rare on KL. I've never heard the song liquid lunch but I ave done many liquid lunches, and dinners...LOL. How awesome that on your first and last MD11 flight you got to visit the cockpit. Definitely makes it a flight to remember! See you soon for the rest of the flights!

  • Comment 93299 by
    marathon GOLD 8744 Comments

    A nice to read FR in nostalgia+geek mode. I had never noticed this double winglet of the MD11. The lounge staff grade is either a mistake, given the friendly welcome, or something wrong happened in the lounge that you did not report? Thanks for this report !

  • Comment 93305 by
    Chibcha 423 Comments

    Awesome TR, the MD11 is one of the coolest planes around. It's a shame I probably won't be able to fly one before they're retired.

    Thanks for sharing, saludos!

  • Comment 93318 by
    Papoumada SILVER 4931 Comments

    Congratulations for having fulfilled your dream !

    Your offer us a comprehensive report full of passion and nostalgia.

    Eager to read your inward journey.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Comment 93325 by
    lagentsecret 8769 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    A great aircraft for a great flight and great memories

    What a shame not having one of these delicious chicken with anise on this special flight ;)

    See you soon for the return journey

  • Comment 93337 by
    Flysim 529 Comments

    A flight you definitely won't forget,

    I would have been really happy of the lounge agent as well. Some may consider this situation random but trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle !

    Audrey Hepburn, definitely could not have been another ride for you ! ;)

    Except the flight attendant who served you and not that good catering, this flight sure was a great experience. Nice cockpit post-flight visit to make it way more special :D

    See ya and looking forward to see the return trip

  • Comment 93385 by
    rsman 414 Comments

    Thanks for this FR. I am very desapointed by the main hot food

  • Comment 93406 by
    East African 1375 Comments

    Very nice FR which soon will become collector!
    Thumbs up to the agent but thumbs down to this visually appalling salad at the lounge!
    The MD11 wing view picture is unique with this special winglet.
    Surprinsingly, KLM offers onboard both Baileys and Amarula, but of course as you've said, the latter tastes much better ;-)
    What a nice reward to be granted a visit to the flight deck at the end!
    It seems that you have more surprises to come...

  • Comment 93418 by
    indianocean SILVER 5831 Comments

    The pitch is not average, it's horrible. I feel bad for you!!!
    Let's say that MD-11 was the only reason to fly KLM. I cannot see what else.
    Bye bye Audrey.
    Thank you for sharing

  • Comment 93460 by
    momolemomo GOLD 4592 Comments

    I would love to fly the MD11. You're lucky !
    Audrey Hepburn, pure class !
    The pitch looks very bad, it must have been very uncomfortable.
    I'm trying to book my next long-haul flight on KLM, I miss the smurfs.
    it turned out the routing would change -> Sounds interesting :)
    Thanks for this report.

  • Comment 93483 by
    A380B77W 4354 Comments

    Thanks for this very nice report :)

    The MD-11 becomes very rare, you're lucky to take it before his retirment (retrait in french ^^) of service !

    But, in the tri-jets, I prefer the DC-10 and his old cockpit ^^

  • Comment 94765 by
    flyingjapans 1374 Comments

    Thank you for this FR,

    It was really a good idea to fly to America over the week end to catch one of the few MD11 left.

    Too bad the crew wasn't that great on this special flight.

    When will we be able to read the next leg?

  • Comment 95001 by
    Alex Portation 763 Comments

    Thanks for this FR

    A first FR in English. That's fun !! :-D

  • Comment 352362 by
    KLM777300ER 20 Comments

    Great trip report, I had a few really enjoyable flights on the KL MD11 to MIA, YYZ and SFO. Might dig out the pictures and do some FRs now :)

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