Montreal - Paris CDG AF / Y, 747-400: after the very soon
Paris CDG - Basle AF / Y, ATR72: Won't be published
My farewell to the most beautiful tri-jet, the MD11.
So, here I am at Amsterdam and excited to take the MD11 a last time. I must say, it has been a long time since flying did not excite me taht much. In the meantime, I was anxious about a last minute a/c change. I think if this would have been the case that I would have booked another flight straight away. However, I was monitoring the equipment on the KLM and the AMS websites and both were confirming a MD11, PH-KCD, named Florence Nightingale, delivered in 1994 and one the last 4 reminding in the fleet. With the change to winter timetable, the 4 will be gone for ever.
Nobody at emigration, I'll be in the non-Schengen lounge roughly 15 minutes after my arrival from BSL. The first thing I do at the lounge is to go to the KLM counter, as I wanted to see if an upgrade in J was possible. Usually on shorter long haul flights I don't do so, but I wanted to treat myself a little bit. Furthermore there is more interaction with crews in business, and I wanted to know more about how KLM handles the MD11, as I was a MD11 qualified cabin crew for Swiss.
The very nice lady that handled my case tells me that there are some free seats available, and that the upgrade will cost EUR 350.- Given that my trip came to a bare EUR 400.- with a very good promo fare, I did not hesitate more than half a second. It will take a bit of time, as I did book a special meal for my Y flight, the system did not allow the upgrade. The lady told me to wait in the lounge and she will come back to me as soon as she would have solved the problem. A couple of minutes later she came with my new boarding pass, wishing me a very nice flight.
This is what the lounge has on offer, no champagne here, only cremant sparkling wine.
My bird being serviced for its flight:
50 minutes before boarding, I head to my gate where the X ray controls are being done and there is a lot of people. Thanks to the SP lane, it will go a bit faster for me, and I'll be in the plane 15 minutes later…
The old school seats aboard the MD11:
The seat shows its age, it is quite slow to move, makes lots of noise, isn't flat, even not angled flat. Fully extended, the angle is important and it is quite impossible to find a good position to sleep. But the lounge setting, however, is quite comfy. Watching a moovie is a pleasure. Sleeping not as you really slide down!
Welcome drink is a Nicolas Feuillate champagne. Not bad:
The amenity kit is handed out, not a lot of intersting things inside, but it is looking nice, a nice souvenir:
Liked that sign: -U turn, no wee wee!-
Check out the size of the windows:
Seat controls: (the massage function is basically inflating and deflating the lower part of the back of the seat, nothing to write a home about).
On our way to the runway:
A GOL plane flying for Transavia in the summer as PH-GGW and as PR-GGW when back to Brazil:
Safety video is being played on the overhead screens:
Line up and take off straight behind:
The access to the forward galley is closed on the right side by this moving wall. I wonder what can be behind, as there is actually no galley nor lavatories there. I promised my self to ask the crew:
Safety on board card:
The wine list is impressive, and the Asti Muscat looks promising to me, as I love sweet wine. The food, however, looks strange to me and I was really thinking that I may have a problem with the offer. Tartare of maquerel as a starter, you have to love fish and maquerel in particular as it as a strong fish taste. Wakame as a strong taste as well and my last try of it did not leave a very good memory. Beef pie sounds strange to me as well, slow cooked chicken in plane sounds like a very dry dish, and pasta in a plane are not often very good. About the pre-arrival meal, at the time of the flight, I did not recall what was in a Waldorf salad, and a turkey wrap or club sandwich was not tempting. The only things were I was not reluctant to try were both desserts. Should I only eat them or only savoury snacks ? :)
And here comes the maquerel:
The plate is very nice dressed and the presentation looks tempting. I take a very small bite to try it, and the surprise is …. that I find it lovely. It was spicy, not too fishy, the tofu mousse divine. In all, it was a very good starter.
Here is the salad:
I don't like the fact that the bowl is in plastic. That should not be for a business class.
I season the salad with the Yuzu Wasabi dressing, and it is just top. I loved it!
Very nice cuttelery set:
The main meal order is done together with the aperitive and the stewardess in charge of my row suggested to give the chicken a try:
And it was a hit! It was tender, moist, perfect!
For the wine, I will have the Asti for the whole meal. Slightly sparkling, sweet just to my taste. I finished the bottle alone.
Then cheese and / or dessert are offered, together with a fruit skewer. I'll go for the raspberry / chocolate cake together with fruits. Lovely again!!
Then everything is cleared and coffee and chocolates are offered: (no chocolate for me, I was full!)
After the movie, I'll watch Hunger Games 2, the IFE is not that big, but not too small. Advertising before the movie is quite ennoying.
After the movie, I decide to start my trip report about the plane. I go to see the purser and explains him that I would love to make aircraft pictures for my personnal pleasure and for Flight Report.com. He calls the back of the plane and explain to the crew in charge of coach that a guy will come and take pictures and not to worry about. Then he tells me not to hesitate to come back to him should I have questions about the plane. And I promise to do so when back :)
Old school toilets:
Some business class shoots:
Every lavatory had a water dispenser, if I recall well, only DC10/MD11 had this. When I flew for Swiss, this had been desactivated. At that time, the passenger was still king and if he wanted water, this was the duty of the crew to bring it.
At the very end of the coach cabin, there is a door that should open to the crew rest bunk but KLM did never use it, as they should have it installed in the cargo. And KL used this space as cargo. LX had it at the same place, but in the cabin, more or less looking like a train compartment with 6 bunks:
To rest, the cabin crew has this zone with special jump seats called HCJS High Comfort Jump Seat, but crews always call them Low Comfort JS :) It is nearly impossible to have a proper rest on those seats.
MD11 equipment map:
The purser's office:
Lavs Smocke detector panel:
Doors 12 and 22 (11, 12, 13 and 14 are on the left side of the plane, flight direction, doors 21, 22, 23, 24 are on the right side, still flight direction. Most of the airlines use now the signage 1L or 1R for 1 Left or 1 Right)
You may notice a metallic bar at the botom of the door. This bar is meant to open the door manually should the electrical power fail, as the MD11 doors open to the top. Should the bar be used, at least two people are needed as the door very heavy is.
In normal operation, to open and close the door, a simple button is used > up and down :
Should the buttons not work, the manual handle can be used, this handle is used for emergency opening as it will activate a pressurized bottle to open the doors mutch faster:
Door 11: (slightly different)
The yellow selector is to arm or disarm the slides. It is often yellow on all planes, this is why you may hear 'Cabin crew, yellow door selector to arm please'
The MD11 had the feature to dim and undim windows, at least, on the doors. You see, Boeing has not created it with the Dreamliner :)
As I return to my seat, the purser asks me if everything went well and offers me to visit the flight deck upon arrival. For sure, I won't say no :) I thank him and tell him that the service has been ecellent. He then explains me that only crews with high seniority continue to fly the MD11, he is number 07 on the crew seniority list, and works for KLM since 42 years !! He was 63 and looked maximum 55. The youngest hostess was 50 with 30 years of service!!
I almost forgot the winglet:
In flight view:
And the big window:
90 minutes before landing the second meal is served, all in one tray, but given the short time of the flight, this is good and spares time:
I took the turkey wrap which was very good:
The waldorf salad was quite good as well:
And the delicious apple pie with wipped cream, lovely:
Start of descent:
Along the St-Laurent river:
I'll get the KLM House Nr13:
Seems I forgot to introduce you to the bottle holder:
Here we are in Canada. As you see, all boards are elevated, so are the lights, due to frequent snowfalls. A red flag indicates the snow-plumbers were they are to not destroy them:
A 738 from Travel Services that spends the winter here:
Air France is there as well:
A bit of spotting while parking:
As deboarding starts, I am allowed to visit the flight deck but this placard raises questions to me:
In fact, for the flight crew, during cruise, there are two bunks that are unfolded and come in front of door 11, that explains why the access to doors 11 and 21 is closed in flight.
To finish, here is the spacious and beautiful MD11 cockpit:
Last shoots from the terminal building:
Amsterdam - AMS
Montreal - YUL
I hope it was not too much with all technical explanations and non usual pictures. I had a wonderful flight with a lovely crew, and I'll miss this bird.
Stay tuned for the return aboard the 744
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