Aviation, North America Trip, Trip Report, USA, Vacation

#2107 – 2018 Spring Break (Part VII: Air France AF137 ORD-CDG in Business Class)


Posts in the 2018 Spring Break series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to New Orleans
3. Part II: New Orleans
4. Part III: NOLA the Foodie Destination
5. Part IV: New Orleans to Chicago
6. Part V: Chicago the City
7. Part VI: The MCA, Skydeck, and the Food
8. Part VII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Two days before my Air France flights back to Amsterdam via Paris, a part of Air France workers went on strike which meant Air France had to cancel some of their (global) flights. One of these was their daily Paris – Chicago flight that day.

Then on the day of my departure, just before going to the airport, I got a call from Air France’s Chicago office offerring me to switch to KLM’s direct Chicago – Amsterdam flight free of charge. I, of course, declined the offer.

Flight: Air France AF137
Equipment: Airbus A330-200 reg F-GZCH
ATD: 17:37 CDT (Runway 28R of ORD)
ATA: 08:23 CET (Runway 08R of CDG)

After taking the L train to O’Hare Airport and proceeded to Terminal 5, I checked-in at Air France/KLM’s counters. It turned out the agent was the one who contacted me before, haha. He then told me that I had been upgraded to Business Class on the Chicago – Paris flight. Yeay!! 😀

I then cleared security and headed to the Air France/KLM Lounge at Terminal 5. The lounge turned out to be quite small, though I still found it impressive that Air France/KLM operated their own lounge despite Chicago not being a SkyTeam hub (Air France and KLM each only operated one daily flight to Chicago). Anyway, I found the lounge to be sufficient, despite the lack of power ports.

Air France Lounge at Chicago O’Hare Airport

My flight today would be operated with Air France’s Airbus A330-200 reg F-GZCH. Long story short, I walked to the gate, boarded the plane, and turned left to the Business Class cabin 😀 . I took off my coat, which not long after was retrieved by a cabin crew to store it in a cabinet, and settled onto my 2K seat.

The business class cabin on board Air France’s Airbus A330-200 F-GZCH

“Unfortunately”, F-GZCH was still equipped with the old Business Class cabin in 2-2-2 configuration. Plus, the seat was still of the older “angled-lie-flat” one, i.e. we could flatten the seat out, but it would still be angled (not fully horizontal like in KLM’s Boeing 747-400 World Business Class). Despite so, it was still much better than economy so I’d still take it, lol 😆 .

On my business class seat board an Air France’s Airbus A330-200 F-GZCH

The cabin crew went around distributing newspapers, amenity kits, and drinks before departure. The amenity kit pouches were Air France branded and came in a few different colours (I obviously chose the blue one) and for the drink I got myself a champagne, lol 😆 .

Pre-departure drink service: French champagne

After boarding was completed, we began our pushback and, hence, departure to Paris. The safety video was played on the IFE screen. While it was still the same version, I noticed that Air France had changed the music. Somehow I liked the older music better, though. Anyway, here is the new “version” of the video:

Anyway, it was quite a quick taxi to the departure runway, which was runway 28R today. After taking-off, we made a turn towards Paris. Being seat on the right side of the plane, this provided me with a great view of Chicago in the background! 😀

Chicago O’Hare Airport and Downtown Chicago in the background

After the seatbelt sign was switched off, I took off my shoes and stored it in the shoes bag that was provided in the seat. The bag also contained a pair of slippers and socks, which I, then, of course used.

Such a comfortable flight this would be!!

The cabin crew distributed warm towels and the menu book for this flight. And then, they went on another round of drink service and, again, I had a glass of champagne, haha 🙈 .

French champagne service after take-off

The dinner service commenced not long after. There was no choice for the appetizer, which consisted of bresaola, shrimps on ratatoille, and salad with pecans. I accompanied it with a glass of 2016 Loire Blanc. It was, as expected, good!

The appetizer

Then the main course followed with four options: pan-seared tournedos, scallops in lobster sauce, chicken supreme in foie gras sauce, or red bell pepper gnocchi. I was torn between the scallops or the chicken, but in the end settled for the scallops which also came with a serving of basmati rice and carrots. A plate of gourmet cheeses was also served accompanying the main dish. It was really good!!

The main course: scallops in lobster sauce and a plate of gourmet cheeses

The dessert then followed, with two options: a sorbet with fruit salad or bites of cake, tart, and sponge. Initially I opted for the sorbet but then changed my mind to the small bites, haha. I accompanied the dessert with a glass of warm green tea 😀 .

Mini bites for dessert

After dinner, naturally I was trying to get some rest. We were already at the northeastern point of Canada at this point, so this was already about 1/3 way through to Paris! But first, I was browsing what was offerred in the IFE. As mentioned above, unfortunately F-GZCH was still equipped with the old seat and hence also the old IFE system. The content was rather disappointing and the screen was rather small.

Trying to get some rest, and notice the small-ish screen

I then flattened my seat, put my eyepad and blanket on (which were of better quality than in economy), and tried to get some rest. While I wasn’t able to get into deep sleep, this helped a lot as I could still get some rest! A few times I made a few trips to the lavatory, which smelled really good in business class because of the special perfumes, haha. They galley was also full of drink and premium snacks available for business class passengers to grab. The cabin crew was also very courteous. When seeing me in the galley, he asked me if I would like a cup of tea or coffee. I said I was fine and probably would ask for the coffee later just before breakfast.

The business class galley

As we were approaching Ireland, the cabin crew slowly brighten the cabin (They must have closed my window shades when I was asleep, without me noticing!). Not long after, they distributed warm towels and I got my cup of (powdered) cappuccino. Breakfast was then served, which consisted of some pastries, bread rools, fresh fruit, yoghurt, and some warm drinks. It was good.

The breakfast service.

Not long after, we began our descent to Paris-Charles De Gaulle Airport. We flew over the city of Paris before landing at runway 08R of the airport. The plane parked at Concourse L. I disembarked the plane, cleared security and immigration before heading to Terminal 2F for my connecting flight to Amsterdam.


I’m not going to share my AF1640 flight to Amsterdam in too much details now. Only that it was operated with Air France’s A321-200 reg F-GTAH and was delayed for about 40 minutes. I was also flying economy on this flight, though I didn’t really mind, haha.

And here, my one week 2018 Spring Break to New Orleans and Chicago officially ended.



Posting-posting dalam seri 2018 Spring Break:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to New Orleans
3. Part II: New Orleans
4. Part III: NOLA the Foodie Destination
5. Part IV: New Orleans to Chicago
6. Part V: Chicago the City
7. Part VI: The MCA, Skydeck, and the Food
8. Part VII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Dua hari sebelum penerbangan Air France-ku ke Amsterdam via Paris, sebagian karyawannya Air France memutuskan untuk mogok kerja yang menyebabkan pembatalan sebagian penerbangan (global)-nya Air France. Salah satunya yang kena adalah penerbangan Paris – Chicago hari itu.

Lalu di hari keberangkatanku, tepat sebelum aku berangkat ke bandara, aku mendapatkan telepon dari kantor Chicagonya Air France yang menawarkanku untuk pindah ke penerbangan langsung Chicago – Amsterdam dengan KLM. Aku, tentu saja, menolak penawaran ini.

Penerbangan: Air France AF137
Pesawat: Airbus A330-200 reg F-GZCH
ATD: 17:37 CDT (Runway 28R of ORD)
ATA: 08:23 CET (Runway 08R of CDG)

Setelah naik kereta L menuju Bandara O’Hare dan berjalan ke Terminal 5, aku check-in di konternya Air France/KLM. Ternyata agen yang melayaniku adalah yang meneleponku sebelumnya, haha. Ia kemudian memberi-tahuku bahwa aku di-upgrade ke kelas bisnis di penerbangan Chicago – Paris. Hore!! 😀

Setelah pemeriksaan sekuriti, aku pergi ke lounge Air France/KLM di Terminal 5. Lounge-nya berukuran cukup kecil ternyata. Walaupun begitu aku masih cukup kagum sih Air France/KLM memiliki lounge-nya sendiri di Chicago padahal bandara ini bukanlah hub dari SkyTeam (Air France dan KLM masing-masing hanya mengoperasikan satu penerbangan per hari ke Chicago). Anyway, lounge-nya bisa dibilang cukup oke lah walaupun nggak spesial-spesial amat, tetapi colokan listriknya tidak begitu banyak.

Lounge Air France di Bandara Chicago O’Hare

Penerbanganku hari ini akan dioperasikan dengan pesawat Airbus A330-200nya Air France dengan rego F-GZCH. Singkat cerita, aku berjalan ke gerbang keberangkatan, naik ke pesawat, dan kemudian berbelok kiri ke kabin kelas bisnis 😀 . Aku melepaskan mantelku, yang mana tidak lama kemudian diambil oleh seorang pramugara untuk disimpankan di kloset mantel, dan duduk nyaman di kursi 2K.

Kabin kelas bisnis di pesawat Airbus A330-200 F-GZCHnya Air France

“Sayangnya”, F-GZCH masih dilengkapi dengan kabin kelas bisnis model lamanya Air France dengan konfigurasi kursi 2-2-2. Ditambah lagi, kursinya pun masih yang bertipe “angled-lie-flat“, alias bisa diratakan tetapi masih “bersudut” (jadi tidak benar-benar horizontal seperti di World Business Class Boeing 747-400nya KLM). Walaupun begitu, kursi ini masih jauh lebih nyaman daripada kursi di kelas ekonomi sih jadi aku mah nggak komplain lah ya, hahaha 😆 .

Di kursi kelas bisnisku di pesawat Airbus A330-200 F-GZCHnya Air France

Pramugarinya membagikan koran, amenity kits, dan minuman sebelum berangkat. Pouch amenity kit-nya bermerk Air France dan datang dengan beberapa pilihan warna (Tentu aku memilih yang berwarna biru) dan untuk minumnya aku memilih segelas champagne, haha 😆 .

Layanan minuman sebelum berangkat: champagne Prancis

Setelah boarding selesai, pushback dimulai sehingga pesawat mulai diberangkatkan ke Paris. Peragaan video keselamatan dimainkan di layar IFEnya. Walaupun masih merupakan versi yang sama, aku perhatikan Air France telah mengubah musiknya. Aku lebih suka musik yang lama nih. Berikut ini “versi” baru videonya:

Anyway, setelah taxiing yang singkat, kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 28R. Pesawat kemudian berbelok ke arah Paris. Karena duduk di sisi kanan pesawat, aku mendapatkan pemandangan kota Chicago yang keren banget sebagai latar belakang! 😀

Bandara Chicago O’Hare dan Downtown Chicago di latar belakang.

Setelah tanda kenakan sabuk pengaman dipadamkan, aku melepas sepatuku dan menyimpannya di tas sepatu yang disediakan di setiap kursi. Tasnya juga berisi sandal dan kaus kaki, yang mana jelas kemudian aku pakai.

Penerbangannya bakal nyaman nih!!

Awak kabin kemudian membagikan handuk hangat dan buku menu untuk penerbangan ini. Kemudian layanan minuman kembali diberikan, dan aku memilih segelas champagne lagi, haha 🙈 .

Champagne Prancis setelah lepas landas

Layanan makan malam disajikan tidak lama kemudian. Tidak ada pilihan untuk makanan pembuka, yang terdiri atas ham bresaola, udang di atas ratatouille, dan salad dengan kacang pecan. Aku menemaninya dengan segelas 2016 Loire Blanc. Seperti penampilannya, memang enak!

Makanan pembuka

Lalu makanan utama disajikan yang datang dengan empat pilihan: pan-seared tournedos, scallops dengan saus lobster, ayam dengan saus foie gras, atau gnocchi paprika merah. Awalnya aku galau antara scallops atau ayamnya, tetapi kemudian memilih scallops yang disajikan bersama dengan nasi basmati dan wortel. Sepiring keju gourmet juga disajikan bersamaan dengan makanan utama ini. Rasanya enak!!

Makanan utama: scallops dengan saus lobster dan sepiring keju gourmet

Pencuci mulut kemudian disajikan, dengan dua pilihan: es krim sorbet dengan buah-buahan atau potongan mini kue, tart, dan sponge. Awalnya aku memilih es krim sorbet tetapi kemudian berganti pilihan ke potongan-potongan mini itu dengan segelas teh hijau hangat 😀 .

Pencuci mulut mini dan teh hijau hangat.

Setelah makan malam, jelas aku mencoba beristirahat. Kami sudah berada di atas ujung timur laut Kanada waktu ini, yang mana artinya sudah sekitar 1/3 perjalanan ke Paris! Tetapi pertama-tama, jelas aku sudah mem-browsing IFEnya. Seperti yang kusebutkan di atas, F-GZCH masih dilengkapi dengan kursi yang lama sehingga sistem IFEnya pun masih sistem lama. Isinya sedikit mengecewakan dan layarnya berukuran relatif kecil.

Mencoba beristirahat, dan perhatikan layarnya yang berukuran agak kecil.

Aku kemudian meratakan kursiku, memasang penutup mata dan selimut (yang mana berkualitas lebih baik daripada yang di ekonomi, haha), dan mencoba beristirahat. Walaupun aku tidak mencapai fase tidur nyenyak, toh aku bisa beristirahat dengan lumayan! Beberapa kali aku pergi ke toilet, yang mana wangi loh karena diberi parfum, haha. Galley-nya juga penuh dengan minuman dan snack premium untuk penumpang kelas bisnis. Awak kabinnya juga perhatian sekali. Ketika melihatku di galley, ia bertanya apakah aku ingin dibuatkan teh atau kopi. Aku bilang tidak perlu untuk saat itu dan nanti saja sebelum sarapan.

Galley kelas bisnis

Ketika pesawat sudah mendekati Irlandia, awak kabin mulai perlahan-lahan menerangkan kabin pesawat (Mereka menutupkan penutup jendelaku ketika aku tertidur, tanpa menggangguku lho!). Tak lama setelahnya, handuk hangat dibagikan dan aku mendapatkan secangkir cappuccino (dari bubuk bungkusan). Sarapan kemudian dibagikan, yang terdiri atas beberapa potong roti, buah-buahan segar, yoghurt, dan minuman hangat. Enak.

Layanan sarapan.

Tidak lama setelahnya, pesawat mulai turun ke Bandara Charles De Gaulle di Paris. Kami terbang di atas kota Paris sebelum mendarat di landasan pacu 08R. Pesawat diparkir di Concourse L. Aku menuruni pesawat, melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti dan imigrasi, sebelum kemudian berjalan ke Terminal 2F untuk penerbangan lanjutanku ke Amsterdam.


Aku tidak akan menuliskan terlalu mendetail penerbangan AF1640ku ke Amsterdam. Hanya saja penerbangannya dioperasikan dengan Airbus A321-200nya Air France dengan rego F-GTAH dan terlambat sekitar 40an menit. Aku juga duduk di kelas ekonomi sih di penerbangan ini, tetapi tidak masalah bagiku, haha.

Dan di sini, liburan musim semi 2018 satu mingguku ke New Orleans dan Chicago resmi berakhir.


Aviation, Life in Holland, My Interest, Zilko's Life

#2103 – An Afternoon at Schiphol


I went to Schiphol last Friday afternoon; but this trip was not like any others. I didn’t go to the airport terminal for a flight to start a weekend trip somewhere nor to pick someone up. Instead, I went to the Schiphol-Oost area where the KLM Engineering and Maintenance department was located.

I don’t make it discreet that I love planes and flights. And it happens that the husband of a friend of mine works at KLM. And so he invited his wife and me to come visit him at Schiphol-Oost where he would give us a quick tour including to the KLM’s maintenance hangars! In the inside, I was like:

because it would be my first time ever to visit a plane hangar! Huahaha 🙈.

Anyway so my friend and I took an Uber after work on Friday, where we had an interesting conversation with the driver about politics and history, lol 😆 . The traffic was quite bad at Amsterdam due to the Dodenherdenking (the National Remembrance Day) so it took us a bit longer to Schiphol-Oost than expected, where my friend’s husband was already waiting for us at the entrance.

Long story short, after getting the visitor badges, we entered the KLM Engineering and Maintenance complex. As expected, the complex was really large! Haha 😆 . We were first taken to the office of my friend’s husband which was in the same building as where the engines maintenance and repair were done. There were many engines being maintained and repaired at the time, and they weren’t only KLM’s; as I saw Jet2’s, United’s, and Vietnam Airlines’ engines too.

An engine maintenance

We then walked to the hangars. We were lucky that the weather was amazing this afternoon! I saw two Vueling’s Airbus A320s and a KLM’s brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner reg PH-BHO being parked. At the time, three of KLM’s wide-body birds, an Airbus A330-200 reg PH-AOD, a Boeing 777-200ER reg PH-BQD, and a Boeing 747-400 Combi reg PH-BFH, were on the engines testing stage. They were parked just outside the hangar in an area enclosed with tall jet-blast deflectors. It was PH-BFH’s turn for the test and it was amazing to be able to experience first hand the noise the Queen of the Skies’ engines could produce! Haha 😆 .

KLM’s A330-200 PH-AOD, B777-200ER PH-BQD, and B747-400M PH-BFH during the engines testing.

We then entered one of the hangars which was, of course, very large in size is it could fit two wide-body planes. This hangar was empty at the time so we walked to the next one. I was excited because I saw the SkyTeam livery which meant: it was KLM’s Boeing 777-300ER reg PH-BVD at the next hangar! There were two planes at this hangar, as KLM’s Airbus A330-200 reg PH-AOA was also there. But of course I was more interested with PH-BVD as I was secretly hoping to be able to take a photo with one of its GE90-115B engines, which was the most powerful commercial jet engine; and it happened to also be PH-BVD with the beautiful SkyTeam livery! 😀

With PH-BVD’s gigantic GE90-115B engine!

The next hangar was also empty and so we went to the next one after that, which was much larger in size and could accommodate more planes. A KLM’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner reg PH-BHD was there. I have flown PH-BHD before, btw, on my KL605 flight from Amsterdam to San Francisco just this December.

A KLM’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner PH-BHD during engine maintenance

The “tour” finished here as we walked back to a parking space near the entrance. In conclusion, it was such a nice tour especially for me! First of all, I got “unusual angles” to see the planes, haha. Then, and more interestingly, I got a peek on the backstage of an airlines’ operation. On top of that, of course, I gained a lot of new knowledge about the operation too, which really, really excited me! 😀


Aku pergi ke Schiphol Jumat siang yang lalu; tetapi perjalanan ini tidaklah seperti perjalanan lainnya. Aku tidak pergi ke terminal bandaranya untuk mengejar penerbangan untuk sebuah perjalanan akhir pekan kemana gitu, ataupun bukan pula untuk menjemput seseorang di bandara. Aku pergi ke area Schiphol-Oost dimana departemen KLM Engineering and Maintenance berada.

Aku tidak menutup-nutupi bahwa aku suka dengan yang namanya pesawat dan penerbangan. Dan kebetulan banget suaminya seorang temanku di kantor bekerja di KLM. Jadilah suatu ketika ia mengundang istrinya dan aku untuk mengunjunginya di Schiphol-Oost dimana dia akan mengajak kami berkeliling untuk sebuah tur mini termasuk untuk mengunjungi hanggar-hanggar perawatan pesawatnya KLM! Jadilah di dalam hati aku bereaksi:

karena ini akan menjadi kali pertamaku mengunjungi yang namanya hanggar pesawat! Huahaha 🙈.

Anyway jadilah sepulang kerja di hari Jumat aku dan temanku naik Uber, dimana kami terlibat dalam percakapan mengenai politik dan sejarah dengan sopirnya, haha 😆 . Lalu-lintas hari itu lumayan ramai di Amsterdam akibat Dodenherdenking sehingga perjalanannya memakan waktu sedikit lebih lama. Setibanya di Schiphol-Oost, suaminya temanku sudah menunggu kami di pintu masuk.

Singkat cerita, setelah mendapatkan pas masuk pengunjung, kami memasuki kompleks KLM Engineering and Maintenance. Seperti yang aku sangka, kompleks-nya luas banget! Haha 😆 . Pertama-tama kami diajak ke kantornya suami temanku yang mana berada di gedung yang sama dengan tempat perawatan dan perbaikan mesin. Waktu itu ada banyak mesin yang sedang dirawat dan diperbaiki, dan mesin-mesinnya bukan hanya milik KLM; dimana aku juga melihat mesin-mesinnya Jet2, United, dan Vietnam Airlines.

Perawatan mesin pesawat

Kami kemudian berjalan ke hanggarnya. Beruntung banget cuaca siang itu cerah banget! Ada dua Airbus A320nya Vueling dan satu Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner barunya KLM dengan rego PH-BHO yang diparkir di sana. Waktu itu, tiga pesawat badan lebarnya KLM, sebuah Airbus A330-200 rego PH-AOD, sebuah Boeing 777-200ER rego PH-BQD, dan sebuah Boeing 747-400 Combi rego PH-BFH, sedang dalam tahap pengecekan mesin. Ketiganya diparkir di depan hanggar di area yang dilengkapi dengan deflektor jet-blast yang tinggi banget. Waktu itu adalah gilirannya PH-BFH untuk dites dan keren banget rasanya bisa merasakan tingkat keberisikan yang bisa dihasilkan oleh mesin Queen of the Skies ini! Haha 😆 .

Pesawat A330-200 PH-AOD, B777-200ER PH-BQD, dan B747-400M PH-BFH KLM yang mana sedang dalam tahap pengecekan mesin.

Kami kemudian memasuki salah satu hanggarnya yang mana, jelas, berukuran besar banget dan muat untuk dua pesawat berbadan-lebar. Hanggar ini kosong waktu itu dan jadilah kami berjalan ke hanggar di sebelahnya. Aku merasa excited karena aku melihat livery SkyTeam yang berarti: Boeing 777-300ER rego PH-BVDnya KLM! Ada dua pesawat di hanggar ini, dimana Airbus A330-200 PH-AOAnya KLM juga sedang berada di sana. Tapi jelas aku lebih tertarik dengan PH-BVD karena sebenarnya aku berharap bisa berfoto dengan salah satu mesim GE90-115B-nya Boeing 777-300ER, yang mana merupakan mesin jet yang paling kuat! Kebetulan pula pesawatnya adalah PH-BVD dengan livery SkyTeam yang kece banget itu kan!

Dengan mesin GE90-115B raksasanya PH-BVD!

Hanggar sebelahnya juga kosong sehingga kami pergi ke yang sebelahnya lagi, yang berukuran lebih besar dan bisa muat lebih banyak pesawat. Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner-nya KLM dengan rego PH-BHD berada di sana. Aku pernah terbang dengan PH-BHD sebelumnya loh, yaitu di penerbangan KL605 dari Amsterdam ke San Francisco Desember kemarin ini.

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner rego PH-BHD-nya KLM dalam perawatan mesin

“Tur”-nya selesai di sini dimana kami kemudian berjalan ke tempat parkir mobil di dekat pintu masuk. Kesimpulannya, tur ini seru banget deh untukku! Pertama-tama, aku mendapatkan “sudut yang tidak biasa” untuk melihat pesawat-pesawat itu, haha. Kemudian, dan menariknya, aku bisa mengintip sisi backstage dari operasional sebuah maskapai. Dan tentu saja aku juga mendapatkan banyak pengetahuan baru yang mana sangat amat menarik! 😀

Aviation, North America Trip, Trip Report, USA, Vacation

#2099 – 2018 Spring Break (Part IV: Delta DL 2411 and DL 5608 MSY-DTW-MDW in Economy)


Posts in the 2018 Spring Break series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to New Orleans
3. Part II: New Orleans
4. Part III: NOLA the Foodie Destination
5. Part IV: New Orleans to Chicago
6. Part V: Chicago the City
7. Part VI: The MCA, Skydeck, and the Food
8. Part VII: Back to Europe in Business Class

A few weeks before the flight I learned about the ability to check the upgrade list on a Delta flight via their app since 24 hours prior to departure. Naturally I was curious for this so I downloaded the app and checked-in online with it. And indeed, I could check the list! This was amazing! Haha 😆 Though, I noticed that the list was never final as people could still sign up to the list within those 24 hours.

The upgrade list via Delta’s app

From my previous domestic flight with Delta, I knew that I would not get a lounge access so I came to the airport with the right expectation, haha. After checking in my luggage and got my paper boarding passes, I cleared security and had a (real) breakfast, a crawfish omelette, at a restaurant in the airport. It was really good!

Crawfish Omelette

Anyway, to get to Chicago today obviously I wasn’t going to choose any of the direct flights offerred by American Airlines, Southwest, Spirit, and United. Also, Chicago was served by two major airports: Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Chicago Midway (MDW). I preferred to fly to Midway because it was much closer to the city center and because my Air France flight to Paris would depart from O’Hare anyway. This way I would be able to put both airports into my logbook, haha 😆 . Anyway, so in the end I chose one of the many options offerred by Delta with a transit in Detroit with Chicago-Midway as the final destination. This was the route map:

The route map today. Created with gcmap.com

Delta DL 2411 (MSY–DTW)

Flight: Delta DL2411
Equipment: Boeing 717-200 reg N891AT
ATD: 11:15 CDT (Runway 02 of MSY)
ATA: 14:06 EDT (Runway 04L of DTW)

I was super excited with this first flight today because it would be operated with a Boeing 717-200!! 😍 Such an antimainstream plane! And today, it would be operated with N891AT. Boarding went on time today. I didn’t clear any of the upgrade so I settled onto my 14A seat.

A Delta’s Boeing 717-200 reg N891AT at Louis Armstrong International Airport, New Orleans.

We took off from runway 02 and made a turn north towards Detroit. After reaching 10,000 feet, the wifi connection was turned on. I was feeling curious today so I decided to check the connection (with no intention of purchasing the data package, haha). And then I just learned that apparently the connection allowed us to use the wifi for messaging (via several messaging apps like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger), for free! It was only for text messaging, though, so no photo or video (for which you would need to purchase the data) but I felt like it was still quite cool! I felt like beating myself in the head because how could I just know this now? Lol 😆

Free Messaging on board Delta’s flight

Anyway, a light snack service was provided on the flight today. I asked for a pretzel and ginger ale. The Boeing 717-200 was a fine bird. It was certainly quieter than the MD88 (See Part I). It was quite an uneventful flight to Detroit, and at 14:06 local time we landed at runway 04L of Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Here is the landing video:

A quick transit at DTW

N891AT was parked at a gate in Concourse A of Detroit Airport’s Edward H. McNamara Terminal today. Upon disembarking the plane, I learned that my connecting flight to Chicago Midway would depart from Concourse B. So I took the super cool ExpressTram, an automated people mover running along the super long Concourse A, to the middle of the concourse from which I had to walk to Concourse B via a really cool underground pass.

The super cool automated people mover at Concourse A of Detroit Metro Airport

Delta DL 5608 (DTW–MDW)

Flight: Delta DL5608 operated by ExpressJet
Equipment: Bombardier CRJ700 reg N741EV
ATD: 16:19 EDT (Runway 22L of DTW)
ATA: 16:06 CDT (Runway 04R of MDW)

My flight to Chicago Midway today would be operated by ExpressJet, a regional airline contracted by Delta to fly under their Delta Connection brand, with their Bombardier CRJ700, another new plane for my logbook! 😍 Anyway, upon boarding I learned that apparently I cleared the upgrade to Delta Comfort+, where I got seat 4D on the plane (to top it off, seat 4C would be unoccupied during the flight!). When I got to the seat, I was shocked to find that this was the legroom:

Amazing legroom on board ExpressJet’s CRJ700

Holy moly, this legroom was so generous especially considering row 4 wasn’t even an emergency row! As far as I could remember, this was the most generous legroom I have ever had in economy!

Anyway, we then took off from runway 22L and then flew towards Chicago. This was a very short flight and so here was the service on board:

The “service” on board Delta flight DL5608

Yep, as in there was NO service on board (not even water)! This was similar to the very short New York JFK – Boston I took about 2.5 years before with Delta Connection operated by Endeavor Air so I guessed this policy had not changed.

It was another uneventful (but short) flight and at 16:06 local time, we landed at runway 04R of Chicago Midway Airport. Here is the landing video:

After taking my luggage, I went to the third level to walk to the Metro station (it was quite a long walk, btw). I then took an L-train to Chicago city center, which was about a 25 minutes ride.



Posting-posting dalam seri 2018 Spring Break:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to New Orleans
3. Part II: New Orleans
4. Part III: NOLA the Foodie Destination
5. Part IV: New Orleans to Chicago
6. Part V: Chicago the City
7. Part VI: The MCA, Skydeck, and the Food
8. Part VII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Beberapa minggu sebelum penerbangan ini, aku baru tahu bahwa kita bisa mengecek daftar urutan upgrade di penerbangannya Delta melalui app mereka semenjak 24 jam sebelum keberangkatan. Jelaslah aku penasaran sehingga app-nya aku unduh dan kemudian aku check in online dengannya. Dan ternyata benar lho aku bisa mengeceknya! Keren banget dah! Haha 😆 . Walaupun aku perhatikan daftarnya nggak pernah final sih karena penumpang lain masih bisa mendaftarkan diri ke daftarnya dalam 24 jam itu.

Daftar urutan upgrade di app-nya Delta

Dari penerbanganku sebelumnya dengan Delta, aku tahu bahwa aku tidak akan mendapatkan akses ke lounge sehingga aku datang ke bandara dengan ekspektasi yang tepat, haha. Setelah memasukkan bagasi, mendapatkan boarding pass kertasku, dan pemeriksaan sekuriti, aku sarapan (yang benar) di sebuah restoran di bandaranya. Aku memesan omelet crawfish (lobster air tawar) yang mana enak banget!

Omelet crawfish

Anyway, untuk pergi ke Chicago jelas dong aku tidak akan terbang di rute non-stop yang ditawarkan oleh American Airlines, Southwest, Spirit, atau United. Juga, Chicago memiliki dua bandara utama: Chicago O’Hare (ORD) dan Chicago Midway (MDW). Aku memilih untuk terbang ke Midway karena lokasinya lebih dekat ke pusat kota dan karena penerbangan Air France-ku ke Paris toh akan diberangkatkan dari O’Hare. Dengan begini, aku jadi bisa memasukkan kedua bandaranya ke logbook-ku kan ya, haha 😆 . Anyway, pada akhirnya aku memilih satu dari banyak pilihan yang ditawarkan Delta dengan transit di Detroit ke Bandara Chicago Midway. Berikut ini peta rutenya:

Peta rute hari ini. Dibuat dengan gcmap.com

Delta DL 2411 (MSY–DTW)

Penerbangan: Delta DL2411
Pesawat: Boeing 717-200 reg N891AT
ATD: 11:15 CDT (Runway 02 of MSY)
ATA: 14:06 EDT (Runway 04L of DTW)

Aku sungguh excited dengan penerbangan pertama ini hari ini karena akan dioperasikan dengan Boeing 717-200!! 😍 Pesawatnya antimainstream banget kan ya! Dan hari ini, Delta mengoperasikan N891ATnya. Boarding berlangsung tepat waktu. Aku tidak lolos upgrade sehingga aku duduk di kursi 14Aku.

Boeing 717-200nya Delta rego N891AT di Bandara Internasional Louis Armstrong, New Orleans.

Kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 02 dan berbelok ke utara ke Detroit. Setelah mencapai ketinggian 10.000 kaki, koneksi wifi-nya dinyalakan. Aku penasaran hari ini dan jadilah iseng mengecek koneksinya (dengan tanpa niatan untuk membeli paket datanya, haha). Dan kemudian aku baru tahu dong kalau koneksinya bisa kita gunakan untuk mengirimkan pesan (menggunakan beberapa app seperti Whatsapp atau Facebook Messenger), gratis! Cuma untuk mengirimkan pesan aja sih, jadi nggak bisa digunakan untuk foto atau video (yang mana untuknya kita harus membeli paket datanya). Tapi tetap aja lumayan lah ya! Aku merasa sebal juga nih kok baru tahu sekarang? Kemana ajaaa? Hahahaha 😆 .

Kita bisa mengirimkan pesan gratis di penerbangannya Delta

Anyway, layanan snack ringan diberikan di penerbangan ini. Aku memilih snack pretzel dan minum ginger ale. Boeing 717-200 itu nyaman lho. Pesawatnya jelas lebih tidak berisik daripada MD88 (baca Bagian I). Penerbangannya sendiri uneventful hari ini dan jam 14:06 waktu setempat kami mendarat di landasan pacu 04L Bandara Metropolitan di Detroit. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Transit kilat di DTW

N891AT parkir di Concourse A di Terminal Edward H. McNamara Bandara Detroit hari ini. Ketika turun pesawat, aku mendapatkan informasi bahwa penerbangan lanjutanku ke Chicago Midway akan diberangkatkan dari Concourse B. Jadilah aku naik Express Tram, sebuah automated people mover yang beroperasi di sepanjang Concourse A yang panjang banget itu, untuk turun di bagian tengah concourse-nya untuk kemudian menyeberang ke Concourse B melalui terowongan yang kece banget.

Automated people mover yang keren banget di Concourse A Bandara Metro di Detroit

Delta DL 5608 (DTW–MDW)

Penerbangan: Delta DL5608 dioperasikan oleh ExpressJet
Pesawat: Bombardier CRJ700 reg N741EV
ATD: 16:19 EDT (Runway 22L of DTW)
ATA: 16:06 CDT (Runway 04R of MDW)

Penerbanganku ke Chicago Midway akan dioperasikan oleh ExpressJet, sebuah maskapai regional yang dikontrak Delta di bawah payung Delta Connection, dengan pesawat Bombardier CRJ700, sebuah tipe pesawat baru lagi untuk logbook-ku! 😍 Anyway, ketika boarding aku baru tahu bahwa ternyata kali ini aku lolos upgrade ke Delta Comfort+, dimana aku mendapatkan kursi 4D di pesawatnya (asyiknya lagi, kursi 4C kosong loh di penerbangan ini!). Ketika aku tiba di kursinya, aku sungguh dikejutkan dengan legroom-nya yang kayak begini:

Legroom yang kece banget di CRJ700nya ExpressJet

Gilaaa, legroom-nya mantap banget ini apalagi baris nomor 4 kan bukan baris pintu darurat! Sejauh ingatanku, ini adalah legroom paling mantap di ekonomi yang pernah kudapatkan dah!

Anyway, pesawat lepas landas dari landasan pacu 22L dan kemudian berbelok menuju Chicago. Ini adalah penerbangan yang singkat dan berikut ini layanannya:

“Layanan” di penerbangan DL5608nya Delta

Iya, maksudnya NGGAK ADA layanannya (bahkan air putih pun tidak)! Ini mirip sih dengan penerbangan super singkat New York JFK – Boston yang kunaiki sekitar 2,5 tahun sebelumnya dengan Delta Connection yang dioperasikan dengan Endeavour Air. Jadi sepertinya aturannya masih belum berubah.

Penerbangannya uneventful (tetapi singkat) dan jam jam 16:06 waktu setempat, kami mendarat di landasan pacu 04R Bandara Chicago Midway. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Setelah mengambil bagasiku, aku naik ke lantai tiga untuk berjalan menuju stasiun Metro (jalannya lumayan jauh, btw). Aku kemudian menaiki kereta-L menuju pusat kota Chicago yang mana waktu tempuhnya sekitar 25 menit saja.


Aviation, North America Trip, Trip Report, USA, Vacation

#2091 – 2018 Spring Break (Part I: Delta DL 71 and DL 2426 AMS-ATL-MSY in Economy)


Posts in the 2018 Spring Break series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to New Orleans
3. Part II: New Orleans
4. Part III: NOLA the Foodie Destination
5. Part IV: New Orleans to Chicago
6. Part V: Chicago the City
7. Part VI: The MCA, Skydeck, and the Food
8. Part VII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Because my Delta flight DL 71 was scheduled to depart at 08:35 in the morning of a Spring DST day on a Sunday, I decided to stay at a hotel in Schiphol the night before departure. I spent my Saturday in Amsterdam, finishing my packing and going to the gym; and I went to the hotel after having dinner. The hotel loved me so much btw, as I was provided with a room at their top floor with airport view!

Hotel view, an airport view

Anyway, I got up at about 04:30 and walked to the airport about an hour later. I went to KLM’s Sky Priority check-in desks and checked in for my flight. There was a glitch in the system which caused my check in to not go very smooth, but eventually it succeeded. I checked my luggage in and got my boarding passes to Atlanta and New Orleans. Here is the route map today:

The route map today. From gcmap.com

Delta DL 71 (AMS–ATL)

Flight: Delta DL71
Equipment: Airbus A330-300 reg N816NW
ATD: 09:34 CET (Runway 36L of AMS)
ATA: 12:27 EDT (Runway 08L of ATL)

The little annoying thing about this flight was that even though it was a Delta flight, as a Flying Blue Platinum card holder I wasn’t allowed to select a seat at their Delta Comfort+ cabin at the time of booking because I purchased the ticket via KLM (Officially I got KLM’s flight number). Had I purchased the ticket directly via Delta, I would have been entitled to select a seat in this cabin for free. I could, however, request for an upgrade to this cabin at the time of check-in but the flight today was very full so the request couldn’t be granted. This, however, wasn’t the case in December 2015 when I flew Delta from Amsterdam to New York with a ticket on Delta purchased via KLM. As a Flying Blue Gold card holder at the time, I could select a Delta Comfort+ seat since three days prior to departure for free.

Delta’s Airbus A330-300 reg N816NW was almost ready for departure.

Anyway, I cleared security and immigration and then went to KLM’s Crown Lounge for some breakfast. I also got my documents check completed in front of the lounge (This was an extra check mandatory for all Delta passengers flying to the US). I then went to the gate not long before boarding, where Delta’s Airbus A330-300 reg N816NW was almost ready for departure.

On board the economy cabin of Delta’s Airbus A330-300 reg N816NW

While I couldn’t secure a seat in the Delta Comfort+ cabin, I still got a window seat in the first row of the regular economy cabin. And the seat pleasantly surprised me as the legroom was also quite impressive! Lol 😆 . It was also equipped with a power port (not all regular economy seats were equipped with this; only row 14 to 19 in their Airbus A330-300s).

Seat 14A on board Delta’s Airbus A330-300 reg N816NW

After boarding completed, the flight departed and was scheduled to take off via the Polderbaan. Upon (the supposedly) take-off, however, I noticed the plane did not go full speed as it normally would. Then indeed we exited the runway. The pilot told us that the brake indicator showed the brake temperature was too high for take-off so we needed to let it cool down for about 15-20 minutes before we could proceed to take off safely. So we did that and finally, at 09:37 we took off from runway 36L and headed towards Atlanta.

Taking off from Schiphol

Just after take-off, the flight attendants (FAs) distributed bottled water and amenity kits (consisting of an eye pad and ear plugs). Then they went on another round distributing warm tissue. This was followed by the breakfast service. There were three options: chicken piccata with risotto, cheesy scrambled egg with potato, or chicken caesar salad. I chose the chicken piccata with risotto one, which was tasty. As for the drink, I opted for prosecco which apparently was available complimentarily in economy! I was impressed! Following the breakfast service, the FAs went another round offering more drinks. I opted for their Starbucks coffee.

The breakfast service on board Delta’s flight DL 71

The AVOD IFE content, however, was mediocre. The TV shows library was great (as it contained half a season of The Big Bang Theory! 😀 ) but none of the movies was very interesting to me; and neither did the music library. The map feature was also not the newest 3D generation, but the slightly older 2D version which was still quite cool nonetheless.

Half a season of The Big Bang Theory!

Anyway, mid-flight somewhere above Canada, snack boxes were distributed along with another round of drinks. Speaking of the drinks, the FAs went around frequently throughout the flight offerring bottled water to the passengers, a nice gesture if you asked me.

Mid-flight snack box service

About 1.5 hours before landing, a light meal was served. There were two choices: warm croissant or warm vegetarian pizza. I opted for the pizza, and it was accompanied with a Magnum ice cream.

Warm light meal and ice cream service prior to landing

At about 12 PM local time, we started our descent towards Atlanta. Delta thanked us for our choice to fly with them today. And at 12:27 PM we landed at runway 08L of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. Here is the landing video:

We taxied towards the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal where N816NW parked at Gate F1.

Transitting at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

After clearing immigration at Atlanta Airport, I collected my luggage and rechecked it in to my flight to New Orleans. I then took the Plane Train to get to Concourse B where my domestic flight to New Orleans would depart from. Thus far, my transitting experience at Atlanta was such a breeze, btw, and I was quite impressed!

Welcome to Atlanta

At Concourse B, I went to the Delta Sky Club lounge which I could access with my Flying Blue Platinum status since I just arrived from an international Delta flight and was connecting to a domestic Delta flight. The lounge was nice and spacious, and I could snatch a seat with this amazing view:

Delta Sky Club lounge view at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

The food selection was also good, though mostly was carb-based options. And the mac and cheese was really delicious!

I deliberately arranged a 4.5 hours transit in Atlanta so I just relaxed at the lounge until about 4 PM, haha.

Delta DL 2426 (ATL–MSY)

Flight: Delta DL2426
Equipment: McDonnell Douglas MD88 reg N942DL
ATD: 17:17 EDT (Runway 08R of ATL)
ATA: 17:25 CDT (Runway 02 of MSY)

I was excited for this next flight because it would be operated with a McDonnell Douglas MD88! And today, I got Delta’s N942DL, which was about the same age as myself as its first flight was in June 1989, haha 😆 .

I would fly this Delta’s McDonnell Douglas MD88 reg N942DL today. Me and the plane were about the same age, lol.

Delta had their MD88s in the 3-2 seat configuration. I certainly chose a window seat in the 2 seats section, lol. As before, I got a seat in the first row of regular economy. Unsurprisingly, the legroom was much tighter than my previous intercontinental flight, haha…

Anyway, the flight departed on time and we took off from runway 08R and headed southwest towards New Orleans. A snack and drink service was provided on this short flight. Flying an MD88 was awesome, btw. The window shade was of the “old school” design, and it was very noisy at the back of the plane where the lavatory was located due to the proximity with the engines! Lol 😆 .

On board Delta’s McDonnell Douglas MD88 reg N942DL

At 17:25 local time, the plane landed at runway 02 of New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport. Here is the landing video:

N942DL parked at gate D4. I was really impressed that my luggage had been waiting for me when I reached the baggage area that was not far away from the gate! Lol 😆 . Anyway, then I took a taxi to downtown New Orleans.

And here, my one week Spring break started!



Posting-posting dalam seri 2018 Spring Break:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to New Orleans
3. Part II: New Orleans
4. Part III: NOLA the Foodie Destination
5. Part IV: New Orleans to Chicago
6. Part V: Chicago the City
7. Part VI: The MCA, Skydeck, and the Food
8. Part VII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Karena penerbangan Delta DL 71ku dijadwalkan berangkat jam 8:35 pagi di hari DST musim semi di hari Minggu, aku memutuskan untuk menginap di sebuah hotel di Schiphol semalam sebelum keberangkatan. Hari Sabtu aku habiskan di Amsterdam, dimana aku menyelesaikan packing dan pergi ke gym; dan aku berangkat ke hotelnya setelah makan malam. Hotelnya suka denganku loh, dimana aku diberikan kamar di lantai paling atas dengan pemandangan bandara!

Pemandangan dari kamar hotel, bandara!

Anyway, aku bangun sekitar jam 4:30 dan berangkat ke bandaranya sekitar sejam kemudian. Aku kemudian menuju ke konter check-in Sky Priority-nya KLM. Ada glitch di sistemnya dimana proses check-in-nya nggak semulus biasanya, tetapi pada akhirnya glitch-nya teratasi. Aku memasukkan bagasi dan mendapatkan boarding passes-ku ke Atlanta dan New Orleans. Berikut ini peta ruteku hari ini:

Peta rute hari ini. Dari gcmap.com

Delta DL 71 (AMS–ATL)

Penerbangan: Delta DL71
Pesawat: Airbus A330-300 reg N816NW
ATD: 09:34 CET (Runway 36L of AMS)
ATA: 12:27 EDT (Runway 08L of ATL)

Yang sedikit menyebalkan dari penerbangan ini adalah biarpun aku terbang dengan Delta, sebagai pemegang status Flying Blue Platinum aku tidak diperbolehkan memesan kursi di kabin Delta Comfort+ setelah tiketnya kubeli karena aku membelinya melalui KLM (sehingga aku mendapatkan nomor penerbangannya KLM). Andaikata tiketnya aku beli langsung dari Delta, aku akan diperbolehkan memilih kursi di kabin ini tanpa biaya. Namun, aku masih diperbolehkan meminta upgrade ke kabin ini sewaktu check-in. Tapi penerbangan hari ini penuh banget sih sehingga ini juga percuma. Situasinya tidak begini loh di Desember 2015 ketika aku terbang dari Amsterdam ke New York dengan tiket Delta yang kubeli melalui KLM. Waktu itu, sebagai pemegang status Flying Blue Gold, aku bisa memilih kursi Delta Comfort+ semenjak tiga hari sebelum keberangkatan dengan cuma-cuma.

Airbus A330-300nya Delta rego N816NW sudah hampir siap diberangkatkan.

Anyway, aku melalui pemeriksaan sekuriti dan imigrasi dan kemudian mampir di Crown Lounge-nya KLM untuk sarapan. Pengecekan dokumen juga aku lakukan di depan lounge-nya (Ini adalah pemeriksaan ekstra wajib untuk semua penumpang Delta tujuan Amerika Serikat). Aku kemudian menuju ke gate tak lama sebelum waktu boarding, dimana sebuah Airbus A330-300nya Delta rego N816NW sudah hampir siap untuk diberangkatkan.

Di dalam kabin ekonomi Airbus A330-300nya Delta dengan rego N816NW

Walaupun aku tidak mendapatkan kursi Delta Comfort+, aku masih mendapatkan kursi jendela di baris pertama kabin ekonomi reguler. Dan kursinya mengejutkanku lho karena legroom-nya lumayan mantap ternyata! Haha 😆 . Kursinya juga dilengkapi dengan colokan listrik (nggak semua kursi di ekonomi reguler dilengkapi dengan ini; hanya di baris 14 hingga 19 saja di Airbus A330-300).

Kursi 14A di dalam Airbus A330-300nya Delta rego N816NW

Setelah boarding selesai, penerbangannya diberangkatkan dan dijadwalkan lepas landas dari Polderbaan. Ketika (seharusnya) lepas-landas, aku merasa pesawatnya tidak dipacu cepat seperti biasanya. Benar saja, tak lama kemudian kami keluar dari landasan pacu. Pilotnya memberi-tahu bahwa indikator rem menunjukkan suhu rem yang terlalu tinggi untuk lepas landas sehingga kami harus menunggu 15-20an menit untuk mendinginkannya dulu sebelum bisa lepas landas dengan aman. Dan jadilah ini kami lakukan dan jam 09:37 pagi akhirnya kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 36L dan berbelok menuju Atlanta.

Lepas landas dari Schiphol

Setelah lepas landas, awak kabin membagikan botol air putih dan amenity kits (terdiri dari eye pad dan ear plugs). Lalu mereka membagikan tisu hangat. Kemudian sarapan disajikan. Ada tiga pilihan: ayam picatta dengan risotto, telur dadar berkeju dengan kentang, atau chicken caesar salad. Aku memilih ayam picatta dan risottonya yang mana enak! Untuk minumannya, aku memilih prosecco karena ternyata ini tersedia cuma-cuma loh bahkan di ekonomi! Aku kagum deh! Setelah layanan sarapan, layanan minuman kembali diberikan, dan aku memilih kopinya Starbucks.

Layanan sarapan di penerbangan Delta DL 71

Isi AVOD IFE-nya, tapinya, biasa saja. Gudang acara TVnya lumayan sih (bahkan ada setengah musim barunya The Big Bang Theory! 😀 ) tetapi tidak ada film yang menarik untukku; dan gudang musiknya juga biasa saja. Fitur petanya juga bukan generasi terbaru yang 3D itu, tetapi yang sedikit lebih tua (2D) tetapi masih lumayan keren sih.

Setengah musim The Big Bang Theory!

Anyway, di pertengahan penerbangan di atas Kanada, layanan snack box diberikan sekaligus dengan minuman. Ngomongin minuman, awak kabinnya aktif berkeliling menawarkan air minum ke penumpang di sepanjang perjalanan, yang mana oke banget menurutku.

Layanan snack box di penerbangan ini

Sekitar 1,5 jam sebelum mendarat, layanan makanan ringan hangat diberikan. Ada dua pilihan: croissant hangat atau pizza vegetarian hangat. Aku memilih pizza-nya, yang juga ditemani dengan es krim Magnum.

Layanan makanan ringan hangat dan es krim sebelum mendarat

Sekitar jam 12 siang waktu setempat, pesawat mulai turun menuju Atlanta. Delta berterima-kasih atas pilihan kami terbang bersama mereka hari ini. Dan jam 12:27, pesawat mendarat di landasan pacu 08L Bandara Internasional Hartsfield-Jackson. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

Pesawat kemudian taxiing menuju Terminal Internasional Maynard H. Jackson Jr dimana N816NW parkir di gerbang F1.

Transit di Bandara Internasional Hartsfield-Jackson di Atlanta

Setelah melalui imigrasi di Bandara Atlanta, aku mengambil bagasiku dan meng-check-in-nya kembali ke New Orleans. Aku kemudian menaiki Plane Train untuk menuju Concourse B darimana penerbangan domestikku ke New Orleans akan diberangkatkan. Sejauh ini, pengalaman transitku di Altanta mulus sekali dan aku sungguh terkesan!

Selamat datang di Atlanta

Di Concourse B, aku menuju Delta Sky Club yang bisa kuakses dengan status Flying Blue Platinum karena aku baru tiba dari penerbangan internasionalnya Delta dan sedang transit menuju penerbangan domestiknya mereka. Lounge-nya oke dan luas banget, dan aku bisa mendapatkan kursi dengan pemandangan kece ini:

Pemandangan Delta Sky Club di Bandara Internasional Hartsfield-Jackson di Atlanta

Pilihan makanannya juga oke, dimana kebanyakan berbasiskan karbohidrat sih. Tetapi mac and cheese-nya enak banget!

Aku sengaja transit selama 4,5 jam di Atlanta sehingga aku bisa bersantai di lounge-nya hingga sekitar jam 4 sore, haha.

Delta DL 2426 (ATL–MSY)

Penerbangan: Delta DL2426
Pesawat: McDonnell Douglas MD88 reg N942DL
ATD: 17:17 EDT (Runway 08R of ATL)
ATA: 17:25 CDT (Runway 02 of MSY)

Aku excited untuk penerbangan selanjutnya ini karena akan dioperasikan dengan McDonnell Douglas MD88! Dan hari ini, aku mendapatkan N942DLnya Delta, yang mana kurang lebih seumuran denganku karena penerbangan pertamanya adalah di bulan Juni 1989, haha 😆 .

Aku akan terbang dengan McDonnell Douglas MD88nya Delta rego N942DL ini hari ini. Aku dan pesawatnya seumuran loh, haha.

Delta menyusun kursi di pesawat MD88 dengan konfigurasi 3-2. Jadi jelas dong ya aku memilih kursi jendela di bagian yang 2 kursi itu, haha. Seperti sebelumnya, aku mendapatkan kursi di barisan pertama ekonomi reguler. Tak mengherankan, ruang kakinya jauh lebih sempit dibandingkan di penerbangan antar benuaku sebelumnya.

Anyway, penerbangannya berangkat tepat waktu dan kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 08R dan kemudian berbelok ke barat daya menuju New Orleans. Layanan snack dan minuman disajikan di penerbangan jarak pendek ini. Terbang dengan MD88 itu seru banget lho. Penutup jendelanya bermodel “jadul” gitu dan berisik banget di bagian belakang pesawat di toiletnya karena dekat dengan mesin pesawatnya! Haha 😆 .

Di dalam McDonnell Douglas MD88nya Delta rego N942DL

Jam 17:25 waktu setempat, pesawat mendarat di landasan pacu 02 Bandara Louis Armstrong di New Orleans. Berikut ini video pendaratannya:

N942DL parkir di gerbang D4. Aku sungguh terkesan dimana bagasiku sudah menungguku ketika aku tiba di area bagasinya yang tidak jauh dari gerbangnya! Haha 😆 . Anyway, aku kemudian naik taksi menuju New Orleans.

Dan di sini, liburan musim semi satu mingguku dimulai!


Aviation, EuroTrip, Trip Report, Vacation, Weekend Trip

#2083 – The Flights to Bordeaux


I went on a weekend trip to Bordeaux in a weekend in early March. I have decided to split the story into two parts; with this post being the first one covering the part of the trip about the flights, haha…

First of all, unsurprisingly, I took an interesting routing on this trip. Here it was:

The routing to Bordeaux. Created with gcmap.com

Getting to Bordeaux

The first leg of the trip was with a KLM’s Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BGB flight KL1263 to Nice. The flight was delayed by almost half an hour due to, apparently, a shortage of grounds baggage handlers today. I had quite a tight connection in Nice but half an hour wasn’t that much of a problem, as usually there was some buffer time already included in the schedule so there was some room for recovery.

Anyway, it was a pleasant KLM flight to Nice. Nice Cote D’Azur was one of my most favorite airports in the world mainly because of the beautiful scenery around it. On this flight, here was a view at one point just before landing:


Yep, the entire country of Monaco! Hahaha 😆 . Anyway, as I thought, we recovered from the departure delay and actually landed at Nice Cote D’Azur Airport on time.

The inconvenient thing about having a connection in France, other than Paris-Charles De Gaulle, was that I had to exit the terminal and cleared security again, which took some time. I had about 10 minutes in the terminal which I spent at the Infinity Lounge. Then I went to the gate to board my second flight.

A HOP! Regional’s Embraer ERJ190 reg F-HBLC

My flight to Bordeaux was operated with a HOP! Regional’s Embraer ERJ190 reg F-HBLC. I was assigned seat 22C, which I initially wasn’t super happy about given it was an aisle seat AND at the back of the plane. But then, it turned out that somehow the entire rear cabin, from row 23 to 26, were literally empty, so I could move to whichever seat I would like! I found it quite strange though because all seats from row 1 to 22 were occupied! Anyway, so I moved to seat 23A.

An empty rear section on board HOP! Regional’s ERJ190 F-HBLC

Again, it was a pleasant short domestic flight with HOP!. I managed to sleep a little bit during the flight; and about one hour later we were flying above the city of Bordeaux and landed at runway 23.

Back to Amsterdam

The Air France Lounge at Bordeaux Airport turned out to be quite nice and comfortable, certainly much better than their lounge at Lyon Airport! And most appropriately, they served these as well:

Bordeaux red wine at Salon Air France at Bordeaux Airport

Haha 😛

Anyway, my Air France’s AF5372 flight to Lyon turned out to be quite unique and interesting. It would be operated by Air Explore, a Slovakian airline wet-leased by Air France to operate some of their domestic routes for HOP!. Today, this flight would be operated by their Boeing 737-800 reg OM-GEX which looked like this:

An Air Explore’s Boeing 737-800 reg OM-GEX in plain white livery

Yeah, a very boring plain white livery, haha 😆 . But I guess it wasn’t that unreasonable given Air Explore’s business model in the wet-leasing market. As Air France wet-leased this plane, the flight was operated by Air Explore’s crews even though the service was as per HOP!’s standard.

We were delayed by about 50 minutes, though. The flight itself was pleasant even though we encountered minor turbulences along the way due to the weather. The crews were nice but I could see they were still not quite used to with HOP!’s service standard yet. Well, I checked that it appeared to be their third day operating for HOP! so it wasn’t surprising to be honest.

Anyway, we landed about 45 minutes at Lyon but this wasn’t a problem to me because I had a 3 hour transit, haha. But not for some other passengers though who had to run to try to catch their connections.

KLM’s Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGU

My last flight of this trip would be with a KLM’s Boeing 737-700 reg PH-BGU to Amsterdam. Upon boarding, I was told by the gate agent that I had been upgraded to Europe Business Class, again! Haha 😆 . I was assigned an aisle seat, though.

After all passengers boarded, the captain announced that we were asked to remain on the ground for 30 minutes more due to poor weather condition at Schiphol which forced them to reduce the airport’s capacity. About 30 minutes later we were finally allow to depart, indeed the crew tried their best to make up the lost time as much as possible. The Boeing 737-700 didn’t need the entire runway length for take-off so we saved some time by taking off from about 1/3 into the 4,000 meter runway.

Anyway, after take-off, the dinner service was provided. The menu was quite “vegetarian” today where the main dish was a salad with beetroot burger. It was quite nice, though, and helped me fill my stomach as it was dinner time. I accompanied it with a bottle of sparkling wine (of course), haha 😀 .

The dinner service in Europe Business Class on board KLM flight KL1416

After dinner, a warm drink service was provided and, as usual, I asked for a green tea. Not long after, we were approaching Schiphol and landed at runway 18C. We parked at Gate D2, and I took the train to go back to Amsterdam.


Aku pergi dalam sebuah perjalanan akhir pekan ke Bordeaux di awal Maret. Aku putuskan untuk membagi ceritanya menjadi dua bagian; dengan posting ini adalah bagian yang pertama dimana aku fokus pada penerbangan-penerbangannya, haha…

Pertama-tama, tidak mengherankan, aku mengambil rute yang menarik untuk perjalanan ini. Berikut ini rutenya:

Rute ke Bordeaux. Dibuat dengan gcmap.com

Berangkat ke Bordeaux

Bagian pertama dari perjalanan ini adalah dengan Boeing 737-800nya KLM dengan rego PH-BGB penerbangan KL1263 ke Nice. Penerbangannya terlambat sekitar setengah jam karena, ternyata, adanya kekurangan staf bagasi hari ini. Waktu transitku di Nice cukup ketat tetapi delay setengah jam tidak begitu masalah lah, apalagi kan di jadwal penerbangannya toh sudah dimasukkan buffer time sehingga penerbangannya masih bisa pulih dari delay ini.

Anyway, penerbangannya sendiri nyaman kok dengan KLM. Bandara Nice Cote D’Azur masih lah salah satu bandara terfavoritku di dunia karena pemandangan alam di sekitarnya yang kece banget. Di penerbangan ini, di satu waktu sebelum mendarat pemandangannya kayak gini loh:


Iya, satu negara Monako! Hahaha 😆 . Anyway, seperti yang kukira, kami beneran pulih dari keterlambatan tadi dan mendarat di Bandara Nice Cote D’Azur masih tepat waktu.

Nggak nyamannya dari transit di Prancis selain di Paris – Charles De Gaulle adalah aku harus keluar gedung terminalnya dan melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti lagi, yang mana tentu juga memakan waktu. Aku akhirnya hanya memiliki waktu 10an menit saja di terminalnya yang mana kuhabiskan di Infinity Lounge. Setelahnya aku langsung pergi ke gate untuk menaiki penerbangan lanjutanku.

Embraer ERJ190nya HOP! Regional rego F-HBLC

Penerbanganku ke Bordeaux dioperasikan dengan Embraer ERJ190nya HOP! Regional dengan rego F-HBLC. Aku diberi kursi 22C, yang mana awalnya tidak begitu aku suka karena adalah kursi lorong dan lokasinya di bagian belakang pesawat. Tetapi ternyata malah bagian belakang kabinnya, dari baris 23 hingga 26, itu kosong melompong dong sehingga aku bisa pindah ke kursi mana pun yang kusuka! Rasanya aneh lho karena baris 1 hingga 22 di pesawatnya itu penuh! Anyway, jadilah aku memindahkan diri ke kursi 23A, haha.

Kabin bagian belakang ERJ190nya HOP! Regional rego F-HBLC yang kosong

Lagi, penerbangan ini adalah penerbangan domestik jarak pendek yang nyaman dengan HOP!. Aku tertidur sedikit di penerbangan ini; dan sekitar satu jam kemudian kami sudah terbang di atas kota Bordeaux dan kemudian mendarat di landasan pacu 23.

Kembali ke Amsterdam

Lounge Air France Lounge di Bandara Bordeaux ternyata cukup nyaman, dan jelas jauh lebih bagus daripada yang di Bandara Lyon! Dan selayaknya, mereka menyajikan ini juga:

Anggur merah Bordeaux di Salon Air France di Bandara Bordeaux

Haha 😛 .

Anyway, penerbangan Air France AF5372ku ke Lyon hari ini unik dan menarik loh. Penerbangannya akan dioperasikan oleh Air Explore, sebuah maskapai Slowakia yang di-wet-lease Air France untuk mengoperasikan beberapa rute domestik mereka untuk HOP!. Hari ini, pesawat Boeing 737-800 rego OM-GEX mereka digunakan, yang mana penampakannya kayak gini:

Boeing 737-800 rego OM-GEX milik Air Explore dengan livery putih polos.

Iya, livery pesawatnya putih polos yang mana boring abis ya, haha 😆 . Tapi aku rasa ini masuk akal juga sih mengingat model bisnisnya Air Explore yang memang bergerak di pasar wet-leasing pesawat. Karena Air France meng-wet-lease pesawat ini, penerbangannya juga dioperasikan oleh krunya Air Explore walaupun layanannya sih sesuai dengan standarnya HOP!. A

Penerbangannya terlambat sekitar 50 menit. Penerbangannya sendiri sih cukup nyaman walaupun penuh turbulensi kecil di sepanjang jalan karena alasan cuaca. Krunya sendiri oke tetapi bisa kulihat mereka masih belum terbiasa dengan standar layanannya HOP!. Yah, aku cek sepertinya memang hari itu baru lah hari ketiga mereka dengan HOP! sehingga nggak mengherankan sih ya.

Anyway, kami mendarat terlambat sekitar 45 menit di Lyon tetapi ini bukanlah masalah untukku karena waktu transitku 3 jam, haha. Tetapi tidak demikian bagi beberapa penumpang lain yang harus berlari mencoba mengejar penerbangan lanjutan mereka.

Boeing 737-700nya KLM dengan rego PH-BGU

Penerbangan terakhirku di perjalanan ini adalah dengan Boeing 737-700nya KLM dengan rego PH-BGU ke Amsterdam. Ketika naik pesawat, aku diberi-tahu bahwa aku di-upgrade ke Kelas Bisnis Eropa lagi! haha 😆 . Tetapi sayangnya aku diberikan kursi lorong sih.

Setelah semua penumpang naik, kapten penerbangan memberi-tahu bahwa sayangnya kami telah diminta untuk tidak berangkat dulu selama 30 menit karena cuaca buruk di Schiphol yang memaksa mereka untuk mengurangi kapasitas bandara. Sekitar 30 menit kemudian ketika kami diizinkan berangkat, krunya kemudian berusaha untuk mengurangi waktu keterlambatan ini semaksimal mungkin. Boeing 737-700 tidak membutuhkan keseluruhan panjang landasan pacunya Bandara Lyon untuk lepas landas sehingga kami menghemat waktu dengan mulai lepas landas dari sekitar 1/3 dari ujung landasan pacu sepanjang 4.000 meter itu.

Anyway, setelah lepas landas, layanan makan malam disajikan. Menu kali ini agak “vegetarian” dimana makanan utamanya adalah salad dengan burger beetroot.Rasanya lumayan juga sih dan cukup mengganjal perut di waktu makan malam ini. Oh, dan jelas untuk minumnya aku meminta sparkling wine lah ya, haha 😆 .

Layanan makan malam di Kelas Bisnis Eropa di penerbangan KL1416nya KLM

Setelah makan malam, layanan minuman hangat dibagikan dan, seperti biasa, aku meminta teh hijau. Tak lama setelahnya, kami mulai turun menuju Schiphol dan mendarat di landasan pacu 18C. Pesawat diparkir di gerbang D2, dan kemudian aku menaiki kereta kembali ke Amsterdam.

Aviation, North America Trip, Trip Report, USA, Vacation

#2065 – 2017 Year End Trip (Part VIII: KLM KL 602 LAX-AMS in World Business Class)


Posts in the 2017 Year End Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to California
3. Part II: A Tourist in San Francisco
4. Part III: Alcatraz and Yosemite
5. Part IV: The City of San Francisco
6. Part V: The City of Los Angeles
7. Part VI: Hollywood and Griffith
8. Part VII: More of LA
9. Part VIII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Flight: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL602
Equipment: Boeing 747-400 reg PH-BFL named “City of Lima”
ATD: 14:22 PST (Runway 25R of LAX)
ATA: 08:56 CET (Runway 18R of AMS)

Tom Bradley International Terminal

I arrived quite early at the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) at Los Angeles International Airport, but thankfully KLM’s check-in desks were already open. It was not long before I checked my luggage in and was handed my boarding pass.

Tom Bradley International Terminal

After clearing security, I went to the Korean Air Lounge because I thought I was flying a SkyTeam airline and the Korean Air Lounge was the only SkyTeam lounge at TBIT. However, the lounge attendant told me that because I was flying KLM’s business class today, I was actually welcomed at the OneWorld Business Class Lounge. I was probably given this information at check-in but somehow I had missed it, haha.

The OneWorld Lounge at TBIT
The OneWorld Lounge at TBIT

Initially I thought this was strange because OneWorld was one of SkyTeam’s rivals, but as it turned out at TBIT the OneWorld Business Class Lounge was generally regarded to be better than the Korean Air Lounge. The lounge was indeed nice, with good food and drink selection; and it was spacious!

The Flight

My flight today would be with this KLM’s Boeing 747-400 reg PH-BFL named “City of Lima”

Today’s flight would be operated by a KLM’s Boeing 747-400 reg PH-BFL named “City of Lima”. Long story short, upon boarding the plane via door L1 (a door exclusively for business class and economy comfort passengers), I was asked to turn left. A flight attendant welcomed me on board and took my coat off to stow it in the closet. Yep, a closet to story my coat! In economy, oh, well … . I then settled easily onto my very comfortable seat 1A at the nose of the Queen of the Skies.

Home for the next 10 hours flight on board KLM’s Boeing 747-400 reg PH-BFL

The flight attendant then served the pre-departure drink service, which I went for a glass of champagne. Then the amenity kit was distributed, which consisted of an eye mask, an ear plug, a pair of sock, a toothbrush and toothpaste, all in a cool Jan Taminiau poach. Oh, and btw, the seat was equipped with a KLM branded noise-cancelling headphone which was really good!

The mandatory World Business Class selfie on board a KLM’s Boeing 747

It felt like boarding went quickly today (or that time just generally went much faster when flying business class, haha 😆 ). Anyway, then the door was closed and the pushback started. As we were taxiing to runway 25R, the safety demo was played. Speaking of the demo, it made me realize that the AVOD IFE onboard this Boeing 747-400 was still of the older generation, though, even in business class.

During the safety demo. Behind those blue doors was the closet.

We took off from runway 25R and then turned around northeast towards Amsterdam, flying over the city of Los Angeles. I could see Santa Monica and Downtown Los Angeles clearly from my windows (yep, plural, as I had three of them all for myself, lol 😆 ). Not long after take-off, a warm towel service started, followed by a snack service which consisted of a bowl of nuts and some drinks, which I asked for another champagne, haha 🙈 .

The post-takeoff snack and champagne service.

The one thing one needs not to worry when flying business class is the space. The seat was very spacious! On my way to the airport, I actually worried about where I would put my camera and iPhone as I was wearing a sweater with no pocket. Oh boy what a silly thought this was, lol 😆 . Seat 1A on board this KLM’s Boeing 747-400 was also awesome because it was a window AND aisle seat at the same time. My favorite kind of seat! The seat was also great because it was a flat bed seat, i.e. it could be turned fully horizontal! 😀

Seat 1A in full flat bed mode
The flat bed seat selfie

About an hour into the flight, the (fine) three-course dinner service started with the flight attendant putting a white tablecloth onto my seat’s tray. The choices for appetizer were barbeque smoked salmon with balsamic glace or creamy mushroom soup. I mean, obviously I chose the former! Haha 😆 . I decided to accompany it with another glass of champagne (and water) 🙈. And indeed it was very delicious and the quantity was definitely on the generous side for an appetizer!

Barbeque smoked salmon with balsamic glace as the appetizer

There were three choices for the main course: agnolotti pasta, chicken tikka masala, or beef stew Provençale. I opted for the beef stew. As for the drink, I asked for KLM’s signature cocktail The Flying Dutchman (I probably should have ordered it during the snack service but I forgot 😛 ), which was great, btw!

Beef Stew Provençale as the main course

Then the dessert followed, which choices were a cheese plate, an apricot tartlet, or an apple pie. I chose the tartlet which was yummy! The flight attendant recommended me to pair the tartlet with the Lillypilly dessert wine; and I was really glad I followed his recommendation because it was really good!!

Apricot tartlet, fresh fruit, and a dessert wine as the dessert

A chocolate and tea/coffee service followed the dinner. It was such a generous dinner service that I actually felt really full after it. I don’t think I had ever felt that full after a meal service on a plane before that, haha. Anyway, I watched the Battle of the Sexes during dinner. It was such a great movie about an actual historical event in tennis, where Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in 1973.

As it turned out we had flown for about 4.5 hours by the time I finished the dinner and the movie. Damn, it was already almost half way! And so I decided to flatten my seat, put on the eye mask and blanket (which was way much nicer and much more comfortable than in economy), and tried to sleep.

It had been four and a half hours, time flew!
Trying to get some sleep in business class

I was able to “sleep” for almost three hours. Well, I did not go into  “deep sleep” state but it was still quite good, haha. It might have something to do with the dry air on board a Boeing 747-400. No matter how cool the plane was, it was still a 26 year old plane (PH-BFL first flew in 1991). I have noticed that newer generation planes tend to be more comfortable in terms of humidity on board. Thankfully KLM provided face moisturizer in the business class lavatories, which helped a lot!

The World Business Class lavatory

About two hours before arrival, the cabin light was turned on and a warm towel service commenced. It was followed with a breakfast service with choices of sweet potato strata, apple pie strata, or yoghurt with granola. I chose the apple pie strata and accompanied it with warm croissant and hot roll, hard-boiled egg, fruit, and cheese and ham. Oh, and coffee too, of course. It was good!

The breakfast service

Breakfast was immediately followed with the service I had been waiting for from this flight. A service which tipped me over to choose to fly directly to Amsterdam with KLM’s business class instead of via Paris with Air France’s business class (with their Boeing 777-300ER of course, not their Airbus A380-800 with those outdated business class seats!). Anyway, it was the legendary KLM Delft Blue house service!!

KLM’s legendary Delft Blue Houses service!!

A flight attendant came to the cabin with a tray full of the Delft Blue houses which contained Bols’ gin inside. Each World Business Class passenger could take one as a souvenir. As this was my first time ever, I chose the one with the house design I liked the most, which was house number 25, haha. Btw, this service is so exclusive that you can only get the house from flying KLM’s World Business Class! 😀

A KLM’s Delft Blue House

Not long after, we were already on approach to Schiphol Airport. Long story short, we landed at the Polderbaan. I was not complaining this time because this meant slightly longer time for me to enjoy my seat 1A on this flight! Haha 😆 .

Thanks for the amazing ride, PH-BFL!

PH-BFL parked at Gate F2 and here my amazing World Business Class flight with KLM ended. I disembarked from the plane, cleared immigration, took my luggage (I had to wait a little bit but not too long), and took the train back to Amsterdam.

And here, my two-week year end trip to California also officially ended.



Posting-posting dalam seri 2017 Year End Trip:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to California
3. Part II: A Tourist in San Francisco
4. Part III: Alcatraz and Yosemite
5. Part IV: The City of San Francisco
6. Part V: The City of Los Angeles
7. Part VI: Hollywood and Griffith
8. Part VII: More of LA
9. Part VIII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Penerbangan: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL602
Pesawat: Boeing 747-400 reg PH-BFL bernama “City of Lima”
ATD: 14:22 PST (Runway 25R of LAX)
ATA: 08:56 CET (Runway 18R of AMS)

Tom Bradley International Terminal

Aku tiba agak kepagian di Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) di Bandara Internasional Los Angeles, tetapi untungnya kios check-in-nya KLM sudah dibuka. Tidak membutuhkan waktu lama bagiku untuk memasukkan bagasi dan mendapatkan boarding pass.

Tom Bradley International Terminal

Setelah melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti, aku berjalan ke Korean Air Lounge karena aku akan terbang dengan maskapai SkyTeam hari ini dan Korean Air Lounge adalah satu-satunya lounge SkyTeam di TBIT. Namun, resepsionisnya berkata bahwa karena aku terbang di kelas bisnis dengan KLM hari ini, aku diundang untuk menunggu di One World Business Class Lounge. Kalau nggak salah sebenarnya aku diberi-tahu ini juga ketika check-in sih tetapi aku lupa, haha.

OneWorld Lounge di TBIT
OneWorld Lounge di TBIT

Awalnya aku merasa ini cukup aneh karena OneWorld kan salah satu rivalnya SkyTeam, tetapi ternyata di TBIT OneWorld Business Class Lounge umumnya dipandang sebagai lounge yang lebih baik daripada Korean Air Lounge. Lounge-nya memang nyaman sih, dengan pilihan makanan dan minuman yang cukup lengkap; dan juga luas!


Penerbanganku hari ini adalah dengan Boeing 747-400nya KLM rego PH-BFL bernama “City of Lima” ini.

Penerbangan hari ini dioperasikan dengan pesawat Boeing 747-400nya KLM dengan rego PH-BFL bernama “City of Lima”. Singkat cerita, ketika aku naik ke pesawat melalui pintu L1 (pintu khusus untuk penumpang kelas bisnis dan economy comfort) dan aku diarahkan untuk berbelok ke arah kiri. Seorang pramugara menyambutku dan membantuku melepas mantel untuk kemudian disimpan di dalam kloset. Iya dong ada kloset buat menyimpan mantel! Di ekonomi mah boro-boro ya, haha 😆 . Aku kemudian duduk nyaman di kursi 1Aku di hidung Queen of the Skies ini.

Rumahku selama 10 jam ke depan di dalam Boeing 747-400nya KLM dengan rego PH-BFL

Pramugaranya kemudian membagikan layanan minuman sebelum keberangkatan, yang mana jelas aku memilih champagne, haha. Amenity kit juga kemudian dibagikan, yang berisi penutup mata, sumbat telinga, kaus kaki, sikat dan pasta gigi, semuanya disimpan di dalam poach Jan Taminiau yang keren. Oh, dan btw, di kursinya juga sudah tersedia noise-cancelling headphone bermerk KLM yang mana enak banget lho!

Selfie wajib World Business Class di dalam Boeing 747nya KLM.

Rasanya hari ini boarding berlangsung cepat loh (atau memang waktu yang berlalunya lebih cepat sih ketika terbang di kelas bisnis, haha 😆 ). Anyway, pintu kemudian ditutup dan pushback dimulai. Ketika taxiing ke landasan pacu 25R, video peragaan keselamatan dimainkan. Ngomongin peragaannya, ini membuatku sadar bahwa AVOD di pesawat Boeing 747-400 ini adalah tipe yang agak lama, bahkan di kelas bisnis.

Ketika video peragaan keselamatan dimainkan. Di balik pintu berwarna birunya itu adalah kloset untuk mantel.

Kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 25R dan kemudian berbelok menuju timur laut ke arah Amsterdam, dengan melintasi langit di atas kota Los Angeles. Aku bisa melihat Santa Monica dan Downtown Los Angeles dengan jelas melalui jendela-jendelaku (iya, jamak soalnya aku mendapatkan tiga jendela untukku sendiri, haha 😆 ). Tak lama setelah lepas landas, layanan handuk hangat dibagikan, yang kemudian diikuti dengan layanan snack yang terdiri atas semangkuk kacang dan minuman, yang mana aku memilih champagne lagi, haha 🙈 .

Layanan snack dan champagne setelah lepas landas.

Satu hal yang tidak perlu dikhawatirkan ketika terbang dengan kelas bisnis adalah keleluasaan ruangan. Kursinya luas banget lho! Dalam perjalanan ke bandara, aku sempat sedikit khawatir bagaimana enaknya menyimpan kamera dan iPhone-ku di pesawat karena sweater-ku tidak memiliki kantong. Duh, kekhawatiran yang konyol banget ya, haha 😆 . Kursi 1A di Boeing 747-400nya KLM juga keren banget soalnya kursi ini adalah kursi jendela DAN lorong pada saat yang bersamaan. Jenis kursi favoritku ini! Kursi ini juga keren karena adalah kursi flat bed, sehingga bisa dibuat horizontal! 😀

Kursi 1A di mode flat bed
Selfie dulu di kursi flat bed-ku

Sekitar satu jam setelah berangkat, layanan makan malam three course disajikan yang dimulai dengan pramugara menjabarkan taplak meja putih di meja di kursiku. Pilihan untuk makanan pembuka hari ini adalah salmon asap barbeque dengan saus balsam atau sup jamur creamy. Aku jelas memilih yang pertama! Haha 😆 . Aku memutuskan untuk menemaninya dengan segelas champagne lagi (dan air) 🙈. Dan rasanya memang enak banget lho, dan kuantitasnya juga banyak untuk ukuran makanan pembuka!

Salmon asap barbeque dengan saus balsam sebagai makanan pembuka

Ada tiga pilihan untuk menu utama: pasta agnolotti, ayam tikka masala, atau beef stew Provençale. Aku memilih beef stew. Untuk minumannya, aku memilih cocktail spesialnya KLM, The Flying Dutchman (Seharusnya aku memesan cocktail ini untuk layanan snack tadi tetapi aku lupa, haha 😛 ), yang mana rasanya enak, btw!

Beef Stew Provençale sebagai menu utama.

Kemudian makan malam ditutup dengan pencuci mulut, yang mana pilihannya adalah sepiring keju, tartlet aprikot, atau pie apel. Aku memilih tartlet-nya yang mana rasanya juga enak banget! Pramugaranya menyarankanku untuk memasangkan tartlet-nya dengan anggur pencuci mulut Lillypilly; dan aku lega aku mengikuti sarannya karena memang enak dan cocok banget!!

Tartlet aprikot, buat segar, dan minuman anggur pencuci mulut untuk menutup makan malam hari ini.

Layanan coklat dan teh/kopi disajikan setelah makan malam selesai. Makan malam ini adalah makan malam yang oke banget dan aku merasa kenyang loh setelahnya. Rasanya belum pernah deh aku sekenyang itu setelah layanan makanan di suatu penerbangan, haha. Ngomong-ngomong, aku makan malam sambil menonton Battle of the Sexes. Menurutku film ini bagus, yang menceritakan suatu event historis di dunia tenis dimana Billie Jean King mengalahkan Bobby Riggs di tahun 1973.

Ternyata aku sudah terbang selama 4,5 jam ketika makan malam dan filmku selesai. Ah, kok tiba-tiba sudah hampir setengah jalan begini ya! Haha. Jadilah kemudian kursiku aku rebahkan horizontal, memasang penutup mata dan selimut (yang mana lebih bagus dan bahannya jauh lebih nyaman daripada selimut di kelas ekonomi), dan mencoba untuk tidur.

Sudah empat setengah jam, waktu cepat sekali berlalu!
Mencoba untuk tidur dengan nyaman di kelas bisnis.

Aku berhasil “tidur” selama hampir tiga jam. Tidurku tidak sampai fase tidur nyenyak sih tetapi masih lumayan lah, haha. Mungkin ini ada hubungannya dengan udara di dalam pesawat Boeing 747-400 yang kering banget. Nggak peduli seberapa keren pesawatnya, bagaimana pun pesawat ini kan sudah berumur 26 tahun ya (PH-BFL pertama kali terbang di tahun 1991). Aku perhatikan pesawat tipe lebih baru cenderung lebih nyaman dalam segi kelembaban udara di dalam kabin. Untungnya sih KLM menyediakan moisturizer untuk wajah di toilet kelas bisnis, yang mana sangat membantu!

Toilet di kelas bisnis

Sekitar dua jam sebelum mendarat, lampu kabin dinyalakan kembali dan layanan handuk hangat kembali dibagikan. Sarapan kemudian dimulai dengan pilihan strata ubi manis, strata pie apel, atau yoghurt dengan granola. Aku memilih strata pie apel dan menemaninya dengan croissant dan roti roll hangat, telur rebus, buah-buahan, dan keju dan ham. Oh, dan tentu tidak lupa secangkir kopi ya. Enak!

Layanan sarapan.

Sarapan diikuti langsung oleh layanan yang sudah aku tunggu-tunggu sekali di penerbangan ini. Layanan yang membuatku memilih untuk terbang langsung ke Amsterdam dengan kelas bisnisnya KLM, bukannya via Paris dengan kelas bisnisnya Air France (dengan Boeing 777-300ERnya tentunya ya bukan dengan Airbus A380-800nya yang kelas bisnisnya ketinggalan zaman itu). Anyway, layanan ini adalah layanan legendaris rumah-rumahan keramik Delft Blue-nya KLM yang berisi minuman gin-nya Bols!!

Layanan legendaris rumah-rumahan Delft Blue-nya KLM!!

Seorang pramugari datang ke kabin membawa senampan penuh rumah-rumahan keramik Delft Blue yang cantik-cantik, dimana setiap penumpang Kelas Bisnis Dunia diperbolehkan mengambil satu. Karena ini adalah kali pertamaku, aku memilih rumah yang disainnya aku paling suka, yaitu rumah dengan nomor 25, haha. Btw, layanan ini eksklusif banget lho dimana kita hanya bisa mendapatkan rumah-rumahan ini dengan terbang di Kelas Bisnis Dunianya KLM! 😀

Sebuah rumah-rumahan Delft Blue-nya KLM.

Tak lama kemudian, pesawat mulai turun menuju Bandara Schiphol. Singkat cerita, kami mendarat di Polderbaan. Aku nggak komplain deh kali ini karena artinya aku jadi bisa duduk di kursi 1Aku sedikit lebih lama! Haha 😆 .

Terima kasih atas penerbangannya, PH-BFL!

PH-BFL parkir di Gate F2 dan di sini lah penerbangan Kelas Bisnis Duniaku yang asyik dengan KLM berakhir. Aku turun dari pesawat, melewati imigrasi, mengambil bagasiku (yang mana aku harus sedikit menunggu tapi nggak lama-lama banget), dan naik kereta untuk kembali ke Amsterdam.

Dan di sini, perjalanan dua mingguku ke California juga resmi berakhir.


Aviation, North America Trip, Trip Report, USA, Vacation

#2048 – 2017 Year End Trip (Part I: KLM KL 605 AMS-SFO in Economy)


Posts in the 2017 Year End Trip series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to California
3. Part II: A Tourist in San Francisco
4. Part III: Alcatraz and Yosemite
5. Part IV: The City of San Francisco
6. Part V: The City of Los Angeles
7. Part VI: Hollywood and Griffith
8. Part VII: More of LA
9. Part VIII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Flight: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL605
Equipment: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner reg PH-BHD named “Bougainville”
ATD: 11:56 CET (Runway 24 of AMS)
ATA: 13:28 PST (Runway 28L of SFO)

I managed to snatch seat 10K, a window seat in the first row of economy comfort, while checking-in online the day before the trip. I was able to get this seat in economy comfort for free thanks to my new Platinum status (Normally, one would have had to pay €160 extra just to sit there on this flight to San Francisco!). Anyway, seat 10K was actually the second best seat for me on this flight. The best one would have been seat 10A because it would provide a bird’s eye view of San Francisco upon landing but that seat had already been taken, damn! Haha 😛 .

Checking in for my flight KL 605

Long story short, I arrived at Schiphol and checked my luggage in, upon which I also got a paper boarding pass. I waited for the flight at the KLM Crown Lounge and then went to the gate about 20 minutes before boarding time. The flight today would be operated with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner reg PH-BHD which KLM named “Bougainville”.

KLM’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner reg PH-BHD was ready to go to SFO

As you could see in the photo above, the weather at Schiphol today was not at the best condition. After all passengers at the gate boarded, the captain informed us that we were not given the green light to depart yet because we were still waiting for some connecting passengers whose coming flights to Amsterdam were delayed due to Schiphol’s current limited runway capacity. And so we had to sit in the plane for about an hour before we were finally given the permission to go. We took off from runway 24 and PH-BHD turned northwest towards California.

Finally taking off from runway 24 of AMS

Let’s start with the seat. KLM configured their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with the 3-3-3 layout in economy. This layout was actually fine. But to me, the “problem” was, just about two weeks prior I was flying a Garuda Indonesia’s Boeing 777-300ER which Garuda also configured with the 3-3-3 layout (While many other airlines, including KLM, chose to configure their Boeing 777s with the 3-4-3 layout). However, a Boeing 777-300ER was a bigger airplane, hence wider cabin, than a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. I guess because of this, somehow PH-BHD’s cabin felt a little bit “crammed” to me, haha.

A KLM Dreamliner selfie

Anyway, shortly after take-off, a snack and drink service was provided. The snack was a delicious roasted almond and I chose to pair it with white wine, haha. After the snack service, the flight attendants distributed the warm tissues service, a typical KLM’s long-haul service in economy which was really nice IMO.

I then started to watch the classic movie The Graduate at the AVOD IFE. Speaking of the AVOD, I wasn’t that much impressed with the content (in terms of movies and songs) this time, unfortunately. Though, perhaps the fact that there had been not a lot of new movies which excited me in the past several months might play a role in this too, haha.

The lunch service on board KLM flight KL605

The lunch service was provided not long after; with the choice being a vegetarian or a meatball dish. Obviously I opted for the meatball one, haha 😛 . And it was good!

Just after lunch, the map showed that we were already flying above … Greenland! I was of course excited about this and looked out the window! Greenland was, unlike its name, fully white as it was covered with snow and ice, haha.

Greenland, which looked more white than green to me.

PH-BHD then continued to fly towards Canada, upon which an ice cream snack service was provided. After finishing The Graduate, I decided to watch a second movie, Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2. And also, I tried KLM’s wifi which were available on their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The wifi access was based on data instead of time, which was a factor I did not really like. But in terms of price, I thought their pricing was fair enough, even though a few times I had small problems with the connectivity.

Btw, as usual in a long-haul KLM flight, the flight attendants went on many rounds around the cabin bringing a tray of drinks for the passengers, which was, of course, such a very nice service! More snacks were also available at the galley. As we were entering the United States air space, the late lunch service was provided, which was also tasty.

The late lunch service on board KLM flight KL605

Long story short, at around 1 PM local time we started our descent towards San Francisco International Airport. We were not able to recover from our departure delay, though; and so we still arrived in San Francisco about one hour behind schedule. At 1:28 PM, we landed at runway 28L of San Francisco International Airport, here is the landing video:

PH-BHD parked at the International Terminal where I saw Emirates’, Japan Airlines’, Korean Air’s, Air France’s, and Aeromexico’s planes. Our delay meant that we arrived after all these airlines resulting in: very long lines at immigration! 😖 I had to wait for more than an hour before clearing immigration! And so when I arrived at the baggage area, my bag was already waiting for me nicely there, haha.

I exited the terminal and went to the BART station to take the train to Downtown San Francisco. And here, my two weeks vacation in California started!!



Posting-posting dalam seri 2017 Year End Trip:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to California
3. Part II: A Tourist in San Francisco
4. Part III: Alcatraz and Yosemite
5. Part IV: The City of San Francisco
6. Part V: The City of Los Angeles
7. Part VI: Hollywood and Griffith
8. Part VII: More of LA
9. Part VIII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Penerbangan: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KL605
Pesawat: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner rego PH-BHD bernama “Bougainville”
ATD: 11:56 CET (Runway 24 of AMS)
ATA: 13:28 PST (Runway 28L of SFO)

Aku berhasil mengamankan kursi 10K, kursi jendela di baris pertama kelas economy comfort, ketika check-in online sehari sebelum berangkat. Aku bisa mendapatkan kursi economy comfort ini dengan gratis loh berkat status Platinum baruku ini (Normalnya, seorang penumpang harus membayar ekstra €160 (sekitar Rp 2,6 juta) untuk duduk di kursi ini di penerbangan ke San Francisco!). Anyway, kursi 10K sebenarnya adalah kursi terbaik kedua di penerbangan ini bagiku. Yang terbaik adalah kursi 10A karena dari sana aku akan mendapatkan pandangan San Francisco dari atas ketika mendarat. Tetapi sialnya kursi itu sudah diambil orang lain nih! Haha 😛 .

Check in untuk penerbangan KL 605

Singkat cerita, aku tiba di Schiphol, meng-check-in-kan bagasiku, dan mendapatkan boarding pass fisik. Aku menunggu penerbanganku di KLM Crown Lounge dan kemudian berjalan ke gate sekitar 20 menit sebelum waktu boarding. Penerbangan hari ini akan dioperasikan dengan pesawat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner rego PH-BHD yang KLM beri nama “Bougainville”.

Pesawat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner-nya KLM rego PH-BHD siap untuk berangkat ke SFO

Seperti yang terlihat di foto di atas, cuaca di Schiphol hari ini memang sedang kurang oke. Setelah semua penumpang yang berada di gate naik ke dalam pesawat, kaptennya memberi-tahu bahwa kami masih belum diberikan lampu hijau untuk berangkat karena ternyata kami masih harus menunggu beberapa penumpang connecting yang penerbangannya terlambat mendarat di Schiphol akibat kapasitas landasan pacu bandara yang dikurangi karena kondisi cuaca. Jadilah kami harus duduk di dalam pesawat selama satu jam-an sebelum akhirnya bisa berangkat. Kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 24 dan kemudian PH-BHD berbelok ke arah barat laut menuju California.

Akhirnya lepas landas dari landasan pacu 24nya AMS

Mari ngomongin masalah kursi. KLM mengonfigurasi Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner mereka dengan layout 3-3-3 di ekonomi. Layout ini sebenarnya oke-oke aja sih. Yang jadi “masalah” bagiku adalah baru sekitar dua minggu sebelumnya aku terbang dengan pesawat Boeing 777-300ERnya Garuda Indonesia yang mana Garuda konfigurasi dengan layout 3-3-3 juga (Padahal banyak maskapai lain, termasuk KLM, memilih layout 3-4-3 untuk pesawat tipe Boeing 777 ini). Namun, Boeing 777-300ER kan adalah tipe pesawat yang lebih besar ya, yang mana artinya juga memiliki kabin lebih besar, daripada Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Aku duga karena ini, kabinnya PH-BHD ini jadi terasa “sempit” untukku, haha.

KLM Dreamliner selfie

Anyway, tidak lama setelah lepas landas, layanan snack dan minuman diberikan. Snack-nya berupa kacang almond panggang yang mana rasanya enak banget loh; dan tentu saja aku temani dengan white wine, haha. Setelah layanan snack, awak kabin membagikan layanan tisu hangat, sebuah layanan khasnya KLM di ekonomi yang menurutku oke.

Aku kemudian mulai menonton film klasik The Graduate di AVOD IFE. Nah, ngomongin AVODnya nih, aku kok agak kecewa ya dengan isinya (dalam hal pilihan film dan lagu), sayangnya. Mungkin ini diakibatkan karena memang tidak ada banyak film yang menarik sih beberapa bulan belakangan ini, haha.

Layanan makan siang di penerbangan KLM KL605

Layanan makan siang disajikan tak lama setelahnya; yang mana pilihannya adalah menu vegetarian atau menu bola daging. Ya jelas lah ya aku memilih bola daging, haha 😛 . Dan rasanya enak!

Setelah makan siang, peta menunjukkan bahwa ternyata kami sudah berada di atasnya … Greenland! Jelas dong aku excited dan langsung menengok keluar jendela! Greenland itu, tidak seperti namanya, berwarna putih banget karena memang terselimuti salju dan es, haha.

Greenland, yang nampak lebih putih daripada hijau untukku.

PH-BHD kemudian lanjut terbang menuju Kanada, dimana layanan es krim dibagikan. Setelah selesai menonton The Graduate, aku memutuskan untuk menonton film kedua, Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2. Oh iya, pesawat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner-nya KLM juga dilengkapi dengan wifi loh. Tetapi wifi-nya menggunakan kuota paket data sih, bukannya waktu, yang mana merupakan satu faktor yang aku kurang begitu suka. Tetapi untuk masalah biaya, aku rasa harga aksesnya cukup fair juga, walaupun terkadang aku konektivitasnya bermasalah sih.

Btw, seperti biasa di penerbangan jarak jauhnya KLM, awak kabinnya aktif berkeliling kabin sambil membawa nampan berisi minuman untuk para penumpang yang mana, jelas, adalah pelayanan yang oke banget! Snack juga disediakan di dapur pesawat. Ketika kami memasuki area udara Amerika, layanan makan siang kedua dibagikan, yang mana rasanya juga lumayan.

Layanan makan siang kedua di penerbangan KLM KL605

Singkat cerita, sekitar jam 1 siang waktu setempat pesawat mulai turun menuju Bandara Internasional San Francisco. Kami tidak berhasil memotong waktu keterlambatan kami, sehingga kami tiba di San Francisco sekitar satu jam terlambat. Jam 1:28 siang, pesawat mendarat di landasan pacu 28L Bandara Internasional San Francisco, berikut ini video pendaratannya:

PH-BHD parkir di Terminal Internasional dimana aku melihat sudah ada pesawatnya Emirates, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Air France, dan Aeromexico. Keterlambatan kami berarti kami baru tiba setelah semua maskapai lain ini yang berakibat pada: antrian yang panjang banget di imigrasi! 😖 Aku harus mengantri selama lebih dari satu jam loh! Dan jadilah ketika tiba di area bagasi, bagasiku sudah menungguku di sana, haha.

Aku keluar dari terminal dan berjalan menuju stasiun kereta BART untuk naik kereta menuju Downtown San Francisco. Dan di sini, liburan dua mingguku di California resmi dimulai!!