This is the translation of a trip to Chicago and Fairbanks with Delta from Basel in Switzerland. I think it could be intersting to be shared for our english friends in their language.
This first part covers a flight on a Fokker 70, a type that does not fly anymore within North America (and I think even America in general?)
Background of the trip was a special fare offered by AF/KL on business flights to the US. I always wanted to watch the northern lights and wanted to combine this with a city I have not been yet in the US. Chicago would be that city.
I started my researches with an open jaw ORD - ANC on KLM.com but it was over $ 4'400.-, ways too expensive. Then I changed to FAI, still the same price. I switched to Delta.com and the fares looked quiet good. I tried to enter multiple destinations to do a mile run, to maintain my Gold Status for 2014, and created following itinerary:
Bâle - Amsterdam KL / J, Fokker 70: here
Amsterdam - Detroit DL / J, Airbus 330-300
Detroit - Chicago DL / F, MD -88
Chicago - Atlanta DL / Y, A320
Atlanta - St Louis DL / Y, MD90
St Louis - Detroit DL / Y, B717-200
Detroit - Chicago DL / F, A319
Chicago - Minneapolis DL / F, E175
Minneapolis - Seattle DL / F, B757-300
Seattle - Fairbanks AK / F, B737-900ER
Fairbanks - Seattle AK / F, B737-700
Seattle - Paris CDG DL / J, B767-300ER
Paris CDG - Bâle AF / Y, ATR72
Flights (apart from the side-trip CHI - STL /RT) were at around $ 3'000. The side-trip was at $140.- That's what I call a good deal, and I booked everything without further hesitation.
Fast forward to the departure date.
KLM does yet offer the access to the business lounge at BSL Airport, I came early enough to the airport to enjoy the facility. Strangewise, an AF ticket does not allow entrane to the lounge. However, and just in case, all passengers can access the lounge by paying a CHF 38.- fee, which is around $ 42.-
That lounge is an architectural gem. Simply wonderful. The lounge is spread over three levels, with a reception, bistro style eating place, and bars on the ground floor. First floor is where you will find a relaxation area and again, a self service buffet. On the second floor there is a bar / restaurant / lounge but it is seldom open to public, but can be privatized on request. This lounge was originaly built for the defunct Crossair.
Very nice food offering I only miss the muessli:
Those poultry sausages were to die for!
My morning selection:
Usually I never shoot lounges restrooms (you'll discover later that I do for planes !) but after my morning wee-break I went picking up my camera as I found the place very clean and just beautiful:
There is a shower as well:
Wireless connection is available at no charge, and there is a nice outdoor terrace with good views over the planes parked on the french side of the airport:
Boarding is called on time and Sky Priority pax, together with the business class pax are invited to board first. Sorry no pictures of the plane, it was bitterly cold that morning (nothing in comparison with ORD and even worse, FAI !)
Nice welcome from the purser and here are the new seats aboard KLM Fokker 70, I will never, never love them:
Sufficient seat pitch:
KLM blocks the middle seat of the three seaters and one of the seat of the two seaters row. I choose the two seaters to have a window and no neighbours, being quite asocial at 07:00am)
On-time push back and a good view of this old bird, A300 DHL. We have been then treated by a beautifu night view over BSL, with the sun rising on the background:
Soon after take-off the, in Europe, fameous KL box is served, together with two hot buns, but no pastries as indicated on the menu. That's not good KL ! However, the hostess apologized, I won't be that angry ;)
That's the menu, that is valid all day long:
The salmon was very tasty, not to fishy, the yogurth was good, the fruits, average:
The loo : identical to the one further back in coach:
Whenever possible, I try to make galley and doors pictures, I took the opportunity to take some pix while the crew was performing the service:
That's the dutch coastal line:
Early arrival, long taxiway, and we have been pax bussed to the terminal
Skyview EuroAirport Lounge
Bâle - EAP
Amsterdam - AMS
I really hate those seats, but if you don't have a neighbour, the rating would change from not bearable to hardly bearable. I had a good breakfast, but I regret not having been offered newspapers onboard. Not all passengers go to the lounge. Speaking about lounge, I felt in love with the BSL lounge. AMS was very calm that morning, nobody at the customs and I even got a Schengen stamp on request in my french passeport. Stay tuned for the next translation, business on DL to DTW ...
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