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KLM flights LHR - AMS - NRT

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  • KLM flights LHR - AMS - NRT

    Hi all – this is my first trip report so bare with me if its rubbish (but let me know if it is so I can improve for my future reports!)… anyway here goes:

    July 02: LHR – AMS – NRT


    LHR – AMS

    Flight: KLM 1008
    Aircraft: Boeing 737 (-800 I think)
    Seat: 16D Economy (Coach) class
    Departure: 10.00 (scheduled 09.55)
    Arrival: (scheduled 12.15)

    Preflight –

    I headed for London Heathrow Airport (terminal 4) nice and early as the motorway (M25) can be nasty in the peak hour, I left home at about 06.00 to avoid the morning rush traffic. Fortunately, the motorway was smooth and I arrived at the airport at about 06.40.

    Abit early, but oh well its better than being late for the flight. Never mind, went into the terminal to see the departure screen showing “KLM 1008 Amsterdam – Check in at 08:05” This seemed strange as all other flights were checking in, and that it would be a long 1 hour 30 mins wait so I asked the nearby KLM customer service person, who kindly told me that the information is actually incorrect and that they were checking in all passengers. I dragged my luggage and myself to check-in desks and my luggage got tagged all the way to Tokyo Narita Airport, my final destination and given boarding passes for both flights of the journey. The check-in lady was friendly, with necessary normal security questions. I chose the aisle seats for my flights so that I can stretch my legs onto the aisle. The check-in was completed within matter of minutes.

    With my boarding passes, I went through security where nothing spectacular happened, except from the metal detector sounding off for the keys in my pocket. Nothing major, removed my keys and went through the detector again which was fine this time. Now, there’s a good 3 hour wait till my flight. There wasn’t much to do, as the shops didn’t seem to be many and rather boring. I went up and down the departures lounge looking at the aircrafts where possible, but ended up just listening to my music.

    Finally, at about 09.20 the boarding was announced and luckily it was the gate right next to where I was sitting. There were many Japanese passengers like myself, I assumed many of them would be transferring to Tokyo Narita or Osaka Kansai as going through Amsterdam for those flights to Japan are popular due to cheaper fares (hence my travel to Tokyo’s via Amsterdam). I was one of the few who boarded first, and sat myself on the assigned seat, 16D.

    Flight (LHR – AMS) -

    The seat was rather comfortable with average legspace, good enough for an hour flight. Blue seats were stylish (compared to my previous flight on JAL’s grey seats). The captain welcomed us onboard, with cheerful cabin crews going up and down the aisle to meet the passengers’ demands. The taxi took few minutes with the cabin crews demonstrating the typical emergency stuffs and soon roared up the runway.

    Whilst in the air, cabin crew started an inflight service, starting with the drinks service followed by either a turkey sandwich or cheese sandwich. I got a can of coke, with turkey sandwich which was delicious but small. Shortly after I have eaten, the captain came on p.a. to announce that the decent would be in 5 minutes, I was quite amazed how quick the flight is going. Soon, the aircraft approached Amsterdam and landing was very smooth. Taxied to gate D41 and disembarked with thanking the crew. Throughout, this flight was very smooth.

    Transit (Amsterdam Schiphol)

    There was no need to go through any sort of immigration for transfer flight, which made it easier for me. Indeed the airport was big, but very user friendly and the transfer to the next gate was pretty straight forward. I preliminary visited the gate my Tokyo flight was departing from, and returned to the area where there were good number of large shops, places to eat and the best of all, a modern communication centre. The hours wait seemed short with plenty of things to do and look, but unfortunately one of my hopes at Schiphol to go on the observation deck was failed as I couldn’t find it. Maybe I’ll have some luck on the way back.

    AMS – NRT

    Flight: KLM 861
    Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
    Seat: 25C Economy (Coach) class
    Departure: 14.40 (ontime)
    Arrival: July 3rd, 08.15 (scheduled 08.45)

    The departure screen showed that the boarding was started as early as 13.31 but I felt there’s no need so I hang around in the terminal until I decided to board at 14.15. It was strange to me that there were hardly any boarding announcements; it was all done by the tv screens. I boarded, and surprisingly, almost everyone was onboard as if the aircraft was just waiting for me!! Anyway, as I arrived at my seat at after other people in my row, the overhead locker was full with others nearby being full. I decided to put my big bag under the seat in front preparing for uncomfortable legspace for the 11 hour flight. The seat, was again stylish blue with white headcovers, but I expected one of those adjustable headrest heights but this aircraft wasn’t equipped with them.

    The departure was on-time and we started to taxi to the runway, and after a few minutes later we speeded up the runway. To my surprise, the roof above the galley where crew prepare for meals started to shower down with water!! We watched the water hopelessly until it stopped about 20 seconds later…

    Inflight –

    Soonafter the seatbelt sign went off, the cabin crew cleaned the water on the galley floor and started walking up and down the aisle. A man in front asked if there were any free 2 seats next to each other as he wanted more space. Crew happily told him that there are quite a lot of seats vacant at the back as the flight wasn’t full, and there goes the man to the back. Then the same crew saw me struggling with the legspace with my bag in front. She asked me if I wanted more space, which I answered yes to. Then she directed me to the back where I was to enjoy the 2 seats to myself for the flight. I thanked her and took my belongings to my “home” for the next 11 hours or so. With the armrest between the 2 seats up, I was able to enjoy a spacious seat almost like a business class (ok… not quite).

    The drinks services with hot towels were commenced, where I had an “oolong tea” which was nice, and then the meals service began. It was odd that there was no menu on the flight, but the choices were Fish, Pasta or Japanese. I got pasta, although I would have preferred Japanese but I didn’t quite catch what the crew said. Never mind, Pasta was rather delicious and I found it good that the KLM served with metal forks and knives even on economy class, my previous economy class flights on JAL and ANA were all plastic stuffs. Pasta was in tomato sauce, with some sort of cheese in the pasta which made the taste good. I must say, I wasn’t expecting this sort of delicious meal on a cheap flight. (This is my first time on KLM).

    The inflight entertainment itself, I found that the music selection was pretty good, unlike JAL’s. My sort of music, pop and rock was found on one channel, which I kept listening to. This enabled me to go throughout the flight without use of my minidisc. As for the movies, as there is no PTV on KLM economy class, I struggled and tried to watch on the main screen. However, I found this quite difficult so I didn’t bother watching any shows on the screen. KLM would be excellent if they installed PTVs on all classes. I had good hours of the entertainment, and then I was served a snack of either noodle or small icecream which I didn’t expect. I chose the noodle which was the one commonly sold in all supermarkets of Japan and many Asian shops throughout the UK (and presumably the rest of the countries) and there was plenty to fulfil my hunger. I, once again, didn’t expect this sort of service!!

    I slept through the rest of the flight until my breakfast was served, which wasn’t bad but not good enough to be in my memory. Few hours later, the captain announced the landing at Tokyo Narita Airport and during the descent, I saw the top of mount fuji which I thought was rather nice. Despite the seatbelt sign was already on, few passengers and crew decided to walk to the window to see it, so I decided to get out of my seat as well. I tried to capture it on my camera but failed. Tokyo weather wasn’t so nice, and it was only few minutes before touchdown that I could see the landscape but really, nothing spectacular. Touchdown was once again smooth, and arrived at terminal one. Crew thanked us for travelling with KLM as usual, and I disembarked into the rather humid and hot airport.

    As a Japanese Passport holder and that arrival time was in the morning, immigration process was quick as not too many Japanese passengers were arriving. Went through the immigration, picked my luggage which came out almost instantly, and bought my train tickets to get home.

    The flights with KLM were brilliant, with higher level of service than I expected for the cost of my ticket. I’m certainly looking forward to my flight back to the UK with this airline in few weeks time.

  • #2
    Great Report!!!!
    The observation deck is not attainable behind the pasport and security control. The entrance is located in Schiphol Plaza. And KLM gets ptv's in econemy class in the new boeing 777. One of the first routes will be AMS-NRT, starting March 2004.


    • #3

      Gr8 report! Thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

      Happy Flying!


      • #4
        Thanks for the positive feedback

        The observation deck is not attainable behind the pasport and security control. The entrance is located in Schiphol Plaza.
        Flying Dutchman, do you know if i am allowed to go through immigration to get to observation deck even if i am using Schiphol to transfer flights?

        And KLM gets ptv's in econemy class in the new boeing 777. One of the first routes will be AMS-NRT, starting March 2004.
        Nice one!! Also does that mean NRT flights are going to be served by 777s from sometime next year?? That'll be pretty cool I havent flown 777s yet so if thats the case, i can't wait!!


        • #5
          To be honest, I don't know. Sorry


          • #6
            How come you didn't sitting the window?


            • #7
              I used to sit at the window, but now ive grown i find it better to sit at the aisle seat so i can stretch my legs onto the aisle. I usually ask for an exit row window seat but I hardly get that seat because its usually taken.... lol

              Can anyone answer my questions above (regarding Schiphol immigration and NRT flights next year)??

              Thanks in advance


              • #8
                You can sit the window next to the Door it's great for more legroom.


                • #9
                  [quote="u2o"]Thanks for the positive feedback

                  The observation deck is not attainable behind the pasport and security control. The entrance is located in Schiphol Plaza.
                  Flying Dutchman, do you know if i am allowed to go through immigration to get to observation deck even if i am using Schiphol to transfer flights? [quote]

                  you need to leave the restricted area to get to it, its near some shops and a bar but you must exit the immigration area

                  next trips
                  USA/DXB August.


                  • #10
                    Cheers Longreach747!!