I have been trying to fly MD11 for a long time. Since I am based in New York, YUL is not really the easiest place to start my trans-Atlantic trip. However, I felt at the time that I have to make a point to fly the MD11 since rumors were going around saying KLM was near ready to retire them. Of course the rumors turned out not to be true as the MD11 still flies to YUL today. So what's the benefit of my inconvenience? This trip report!
I flew in from New York JFK on an earlier Delta flight. It was uneventful and therefore no flight report. The weird part about the previous flight is that the FA distributed snacks in sick bags. Those bags were perfectly new and definitely unused - but I still find it a very odd concept to do that and could not picture that is the way it was intended.
Anyways since I had nearly 6 hours to kill before the check-in time of my flight to AMS, I decided to hop on the infamous bus 747 and head into town for a few hours.
Montreal is one of my favorite north American cities along with Boston and San Francisco. It's hard to describe what I actually like about it. It just feels right.
As time went by I hopped on bus 747 and went back to the airport. International departure it is!
AF/KL is not hard to find. AF is probably the most significant full service carrier here after AC. Though I was not expecting to see QR serving YUL.
I think I will pass the kiosks. I for some weird reason still like to be checked in by an agent, especially for overseas trips.
AF at the time was flying a 380 on one of the two daily CDG flights. The check in area is big with a la Premiere check in desk.
I did a little bit spotting after passing security check point
An AF 380 parked at gate 55. This is the first time I have seen a 380 in person. It is HUGE!
And it is a beautiful bird from any angle.
One more AF 380
The gate holding area is massive
Of course here we will have Air Canada
And Air Canada @ Star Alliance
After spotting I visited the Air France Salon
The lounge was not particularly busy at the time. I had a strange paring of food and beverage.
The bird to Amsterdam is awaiting.
The lounge is not very exciting in itself. It is perfectly fine though. I left the lounge and headed to the gate holding area as soon as I finished the last bit of work on my laptop.
Boarding the aircraft was painless. The process was orderly. I was rather excited to get onto the MD11. There was no FA at the door but I knew where I was headed to.
Sparkling wine is soon served. I noticed that the crew did a full bar for per-departure service as I saw a number of passengers had a variety of different drinks. I don't know if this is a normal procedure on KL or it's just the crew being nice.
Menu was distributed on the ground. The FAs came around and informed passengers that they would be taking dinner orders prior to take off.
Once safe, the FAs jumped into action. YUL trans-Atlantic flights a relatively short so efficient service is essential to ensure adequate rest.
After the nuts, dinner began
Main course of the day. I failed to get another piece of bread though :/
Cheese plates were offered as the main courses were cleared off
Dessert was offered too but I declined.
A word on the seat, which I do not have a picture of: KLM at the time had one of the lesser seats among major western carriers. It was not the worst - I can say with certainty LH is not any better and the non-refitted UA 767s are much worse. I managed to sleep comfortably on this flight and actually did not weak up until final approach. Therefore I missed the breakfast service all together (I didn't mind at all but sorry no pictures).
Immigration took a while as the officer asked many questions and then had a stamp running out of ink. I waited for about 10 minutes before he returned with a different stamp. Once in the arrival hall, I started looking for the signs leading up to the viewing platform to do a little bit more spotting
AF for CDG
And many blue birds
I also snapped a picture of the beautiful airport
I spent two days in Amsterdam and it was very pleasing. I'm sure many people here are familiar with the city so I will just post a few pictures from the trip without much comment.
Air France Lounge
Montreal - YUL
Amsterdam - AMS
It was a very memorable flight. The seats were old and not flat; but I also didn't sign up for a cutting edge experience when I bought a ticket for the MD11. It was retro cool in a sense and certainly worth my positing flight to YUL.
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