Archive for the KLM Category

Amsterdam Schiphol KLM Crown Lounge (April 2011)

Posted in Airline Lounge, Airlines, Amsterdam, KLM, Trip Report with tags , , , on May 15, 2011 by getgowing

April 12, 2011

Previous posts for my quasi-‘Round the World trip:

On Delta, if you are a Gold Medallion or higher, you get Skyteam Elite Plus status, which allows you access to many partner lounges around the world even if you are flying in economy.  You are also allowed one guest in addition to yourself.  But I have two guests?  What should I do? A few possibilities came into my head:

  1. Elite pluses have access to both KLM lounges in AMS, so I could guest one of my friends in the first lounge, leave them there, then my other friend and I go to the other lounge, and we stay there until our flight leaves.  That separates us, but it would guarantee access for all of us.  The other problem is that the lounges are really far apart from each other.  The only way to get to both is by walking, and it was at least a 10-15 minute walk.
  2. I could try negotiating with with the lounge agent to see if I can guest both of them in.  But I would need to be really persuasive and charming.  And after staying up all night, I wasn’t feeling it.
  3. Or I could stand near the entrance and eye up somebody who looks like another Elite Plus member, and ask them if they could guest my 2nd friend in since we were only allowed one guest.

After discussing our best option, I decided to try to find another passenger to guest one of them in.  If that didn’t work out after a few minutes we would go with option #1.  Luckily, I saw some briskly walking to the lounge, and politely negotiated him to guest one of my friends in.  SCORE!!!

They both slept in the airport that night, I stayed up all night in the hostel, and we were all dying to take a shower.  Soon after check-in, we put our names on the list for the shower rooms.  We had to wait 2 people before it got to the 3 of us.  No problem.  Give me time to enjoy a mimosa or 4, and check out the lounge.  This lounge was ENORMOUS.  It could easily be the same, if not bigger, than ALL the Delta Sky Club’s in Atlanta put together (There are 8 lounges in ATL).  I should’ve checked the capacity, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it could easily accommodate 500.

Area to the right of check-in

First area to the left of check-in

Researching a little bit after writing this post shows the capacity of this lounge is 840.

There were 3 large areas, two to the left of the check in desk, and one to the right.  If I remember correctly, going all the way to the end of the area on the right, there was a whole other section that was closed for cleaning or something like that.  We camped out next to the window in the farthest area to the left of the check-in desk.

View of the tarmac from our camp

Each of the sections to the left of the desk had their own food and drink set up.  The one to the right had the showers and bathrooms there, and the closest food/beverage station for them would have been the closed section.  We were only there for their breakfast set up, but of course there was still a full selection of drinks.

One of the food/drink stations

Other side of food/drink station

"Pasta salade pesto en rucola...Pasta salad pesto and rocket"

Cream of Tomato soup and Beef broth soup. Some green onions for garnish. Was a little excited, until there was no tomato soup available.

Hard boiled eggs & French toast. They didn't provide any syrup. 😦 The toast only had some sugar on it.

Eggs, toast, a banana, and a mimosa. Breakfast of champions.

When we first arrived in AMS before seeing the city, I did swing by the lounge quickly to check it out and use the internet for a minute.  So I was able to take a few pics of what they served for lunch.

Didn't get the exact names, but the top was like mashed potatoes, and the bottom was a rice dish.

After my 2nd mimosa, it was my turn for the showers.

Shower room

The amenities weren’t that great compared to the LHR (London Heathrow) Skyteam lounge showers, but large rain shower head definitely made up for it.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Flight 1010 (April 2011)

Posted in Airlines, Amsterdam, KLM, London, Trip Report with tags , , , , , , , on May 9, 2011 by getgowing

The previous posts of this quasi-‘Round the World adventure:

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Flight #1010
London Heathrow (LHR) – Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS)
April 11, 2011
Departure:  11:56 (Scheduled 11:45)
Arrival:  14:07 (Scheduled 14:05)
Duration:  1’11”
Aircraft:  Boeing 737-900
Seat:  16A (exit row, Economy class)
Miles flown including this flight:  3682

This is my first time flying in a Boeing 737-900.  I didn’t really get that close a look, but I guess its just a little longer than the more common 737-800 Delta flies.  Wasn’t expecting much, just a quick flight (I think actual flying time was around 38 minutes or so).  As we leave the LHR SkyTeam Lounge, we see a long queue again.  Let me tell you….elite status is a blessing and a curse in disguise.  I almost never have to wait in line traveling anymore, but its amazing the hook that status can put on you.  I spent money on Delta I normally wouldn’t have just to maintain status.  But that’s another post for another day.  We take our row 16 exit row seats and wait for the plane to fill up.

🙂

My plan for the flight was to grab whatever kind of sleep I could, since I anticipated staying up all night in Amsterdam to take the earliest train back to the airport, around 7am or so.  One of the most amusing things about this flight was the safety demonstration put on my the steward  for the back half of the economy section.  Check this out!

Didn’t get his name, but he loved the camera.  Now that’s something you’ll never see on a US-based airline.  We taxi up, and again, similar to our arrival flight, we have to wait for the “heavies” (big planes going long distances full of fuel) to take off.  While I would normally hate this waiting time, I got to see some amazing planes take off.

Singapore Airlines A380 taking off

More crazy traffic. At least they're fun to watch, if you're a flying junkie like me. (click on me to see it in original size)

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 747-400

British Airways Boeing 747-400 taking off

Qantas A380 taxiing

We finally take off after waiting for all those flights to get off the ground.  Another thing that you’ll never see flying in the capitalist USA…..complimentary beverage and snack service on a flight with a flying time less than 40 minutes.  We had the standard beverage selection and the choice of a sweet or savory snack.  I was already mid-nap when they woke me for the snack, so I was in a little bit of a daze when choosing.  I just grabbed the first bag, which was a savory bag.  The savory snack was a cheese cracker-like thing.  And I believe the sweet snack was mini chocolate chip cookies?  I stuff it in my backpack and try to get some more sleep.  Unfortunately before I knew it, we were already on final approach.  At this point I give up trying to sleep.

Some Dutch windmills, though not the cool kind.

The interesting thing about the Amsterdam Schiphol airport is its runways.  It has its bank of runways near the terminal, then there’s the remote runway.  My guesstimation is that it is a couple MILES away from the terminal.

Of course we landed on THAT runway.  I timed the taxi; it took 9 minutes 40 seconds.  There was no traffic, we never stopped sprinting along the taxiways.  Looking out the window, we assumed we were moving around 30-35mph.

That was definitely the most interesting 71 minute flight I’ve ever taken.  We deplane, thanking the steward one more time for his performance, and begin our Amsterdam adventures!

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