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Daytona Beach,FL-Southampton,UK via Atlanta & Amsterdam

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  • Daytona Beach,FL-Southampton,UK via Atlanta & Amsterdam

    Hey guys, it's been a while since I wrote my last TR, so I thought while I had some time to kill I would write up about my recent business trip around Europe. Unfortunately there's no pics since I wasn't planning on writing one but ill try and review the flights as best as I can!

    This trip took me on the following route:
    Daytona Beach, Florida - Southampton, UK
    Southampton, UK - Manchester, UK
    Manchester, UK - Barcelona, Spain
    Barcelona, Spain - Florence, Italy
    Florence, Italy - London, UK
    London, UK - Houston, Texas
    Houston, Texas - Daytona Beach, Florida

    Here is the first leg of the trip! Enjoy!

    Airline: Delta
    Route: Daytona Beach, FL to Atlanta, GA
    Scheduled Departure: 11:32
    Actual Departure: 11:47
    Scheduled Arrival: 13:04
    Actual Arrival: 12:46
    Flight Duration: 1 hour 32 minutes
    Aircraft Type/Reg: MD-90 (N960DN)
    Seat: 37A
    Class: Economy

    I checked in online the night before, unfortunately it wouldn't let me check in for my TRATL or AMS-SOU portion of the journey, as I had to do that on the KLM website. I was surprised to see the flight was pretty full, so I had to settle with seat 37A at the back of the aircraft, but it's a window, so I can't complain.
    I arrived at DAB at around 10am and the Delta check in desks were empty, the grumpy agent at the desk was able to check my bag through to SOU, which saved me some worry. As usual at DAB, security was a breeze, and I was in the departure lounge in no time, with time to spare which is never good, because the facilities at DAB can be compared to that of Mogadishu. I waited patiently at Gate 2, as I watched the inbound pax disembark, and awaited the call for boarding.
    Boarding was called just before 11am, and again, as usual at DAB, the many, many, many wheelchair assisted passengers were boarded first. Boarding was organized, and efficient, despite the load being almost full. I took my seat in 37A.
    The crew seemed friendly enough, nothing particularly special, just your standard DL domestic crew who just seemed to want to get back to ATL as quickly as possible.
    The rear of the aircraft seemed emptier compared to the front, and lucky for me there was nobody sitting in 37B, nor was there anybody in 38A/B.
    A very rushed boarding, followed by a swift pushback and safety demo, and we were quickly on our way to the runway. The legroom on the MD-90 is poor but it would do for a flight as short as this.
    The sun blinded me through the window as we made a left turn onto 7L, and we were soon rattling down the runway. A smooth departure and we climbed over the sea into nothing but clear skies. A sharp left turn quickly bought us back over land and we continued northwest at what seemed to be an unusually rapid rate of climb.
    The cabin crew sprung quickly into action, and started the F&B service. For some reason, they started from the middle of the cabin. I don't know how it usually works on DL, but on UA they start at the front and back? Anyway, it took them a good 15 minutes before they reached row 37.
    A Starbucks coffee with some Biscoff cookies and pretzels definitely made up for it.
    The captain came on during the cruise, told us we were around 30 minutes from ATL and cruising at 31,000 feet.
    The cabin crew came around, clearing trash, and before we knew it, we had started out descent into Atlanta. We descended, at again what seemed to be an unusually rapid rate of descent, maybe it's just the MD-90. We made a single left turn, and then the captain told the crew to take their seats for landing. A very efficient and quick arrival into Atlanta today.
    The gear and flaps lowered, sounding as if they needed a good bit of oiling
    We made a fast approach, and hit the runway pretty hard, the PIC slamming on the brakes pretty damn hard throwing myself and everyone else I could see forward.
    A sharp right turn off the runway, and we were taxiing towards the terminal. A very brief welcome announcement from a very bored/tired flight attendant, and in no time we reached gate B6.
    De-boarding was quick, and soon, I was on the "Plain Train" to the connecting flight concourse.

    Airline: KLM
    Route: Atlanta, GA to Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Scheduled Departure: 15:45
    Actual Departure: 16:09
    Scheduled Arrival: 05:55+1
    Actual Arrival: 05:56+1
    Flight Duration: 8 hours 10 minutes
    Aircraft Type/Reg: Airbus A330-200 (PH-AOB "Potsdamer Platz - Berlin")
    Seat: 33J
    Class: Economy

    I had a bit of time to kill before the KLM flight started boarding, so I headed to Starbucks to grab a drink. The queue at the place was insane, I waited almost 20 minutes to even be served. At least it killed time.
    Boarding was called at 2:55 sharp, 50 minutes before departure. By the time I got to the gate, Economy was already half way through boarding, boarding rows 10-24. As I approached the gate, I was asked for my boarding pass, and was told I had missed my boarding call and to wait for rows 10-24 to finish boarding before I approach the agent to get on the aircraft. Fair enough.
    Eventually, I boarded. I was greeted at door 2L by a very friendly crew. Boarding was completed around 3:35. Again I was lucky, and nobody was sat next to me in 33K, in fact row 33 was empty apart from somebody else sat in 33A. The captain thanked us for our quick boarding and that we would soon be on our way. He gave us a quick brief about our route, departing in a westerly direction, make a left turn circling around towards the northeast, and climbing to our cruise at 35,000 feet. Soon enough, we were slowly pushing back from the stand, and the safety demo started playing on the TV screens in front of us, in both English and Dutch.
    We taxied to the runway and joined the queue for departure.
    After a 10ish minute wait, we made a smooth departure, hit a left turn and climbed up into the clouds.
    As we climbed, I flicked through the PTV, and started watching the new film "Creed".
    Around 40 minutes after departure, the cabin crew commenced the F&B service. First, we were given hot towels, nuts and drink. I got a beer, of course
    Shortly after, A chicken dinner or Mushroom pasta, I took the pasta because it smelt great, and it tasted it too. It actually filled me up for once, and tasted delicious. The pasta was served with a salad, and the usual bread roll etc, with Strawberry Cheesecake for dessert, which was good too!
    Not long after being served, there was another drinks run, but I got the sensible option of a coke this time.
    The crew then disappear for around 20 minutes before coming to do a clearing. The flight attendant too my tray, and I continued watching my film. Every 15/20 minutes the crew would appear with Water and soft drinks on trays. After this, the cabin lights were dimmed.
    I hate to report that the flight from this point was extremely uneventful. After I finished watching Creed, I stared out into the night sky for about an hour, and watched a very clearly lit up and beautiful New York City pass underneath us. The KLM IFE has a very good selection, especially on the TV series. I watched a few episodes of Family Guy.
    The crew then passed through the cabin offering Sandwiches and ice cream. Of course, I took it. A "New York sub" sandwich, and a small tub of Ben & Jerrys ice cream went down a treat. Great service from KLM so far. A full bar service followed, but I got a coke again.
    I fell asleep after this, as this would be the only sleep i'd get before my meeting tomorrow afternoon.
    I woke up a few hours later, as we passed over Northern Wales. The crew was already half way through their breakfast service but one of them noticed I was awake and didn't have anything as she passed through, and asked me if I would like anything. I was given a tray, which consisted of a croissant with jam, butter and chocolate spread, cereal and a vanilla yoghurt. Suitable enough. I was also served a coffee, and Orange Juice.
    We started our descent as we passed over the east coast of England.
    Still pitch black outside, there wasn't much to see other than wind farms and the occasional boat lit up.
    We made a few turns, and the cabin lights were dimmed again for arrival. The approach was quite turbulent as we came in through the clouds. We made a smooth landing onto the runway however, and were welcomed into Amsterdam in English and Dutch, 1 minute late.
    The taxi was short, and we were soon at the gate. De-boarding was again quick, and I headed through flight connections.
    The queue at passport control was relatively short, and then I headed on through the security check. This again, was quick. This was followed by a further passport control check to get to the gate for my final flight.

    Airline: Flybe
    Route: Amsterdam to Southampton
    Scheduled Departure: 09:50
    Actual Departure: 10:13
    Scheduled Arrival: 10:10
    Actual Arrival: 10:04
    Flight Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes
    Aircraft Type/Reg: Bombardier Dash 8-400 (G-ECOO)
    Seat: 2A
    Class: Economy

    The transfer at Amsterdam was quick and painless, and I made my way to Gate D6. Boarding was called at 09:45, and we boarded onto a single bus which took us on a 5 minutes drive across the airport to our aircraft.
    Once there, boarding only took 2 or 3 minutes, the flight load was 33 according to the FO.
    I took my seat in 2A, nobody else was in row 2.
    The door closed, and we were soon pushing back. I am still amazed at how quiet the aircraft is, from the inside anyway
    A quick safety demo from the crew and we were on our way.
    Despite what looked like a long queue for the runway, we made a rolling take off straight up into the clouds. Almost immediately, we hit quite strong turbulence. We climbed through thick cloud, all the while bouncing around like a pinball. Once above the clouds, it became smooth and the seatbelt sign was switched off, the crew began their inflight service. Flybe offers a B-O-B service on all flights, unless you're travelling on an "all in" ticket, which allows you free food and drinks from the trolley. Unfortunately for me I wasn't on an all in ticket, and I didn't buy anything from the B-O-B service. The flight passed pretty quickly, the sun shone through the window as we buzzed above the clouds at just 24,000 feet. In no time, we were over England, flying just South of London, we started our descent. We made a left turn, diving down into the clouds, and the turbulence started again. We stayed in the clouds for what seemed an eternity, and when we finally pierced out of the bottom, we were over the sea, making a long right turn.
    Rain smeared across the window as we flew back over Southampton harbour, and we made a bumpy touch down onto the runway, the reverse thrust throwing me forward in my seat.
    We made a left turn off the runway as we were welcomed into Southampton. As we turned right onto the parking stand, I could see the building where my meeting was to take place, conveniently right next to the airport.
    I was first off of the aircraft as we disembarked, and walked to the terminal. Thankfully, I was first to customs too.
    The very small baggage claim hall at Southampton was the next stop, and I waited around 20 minutes for my bag, which of course, came off last, but I was just happy it had made it.
    I left the baggage claim area, and out into the arrivals hall, which, was directly opposite the check in area
    Being the massive VIP that I am (kidding obviously) there was somebody waiting there to pick me up, and drive me the 350 yards from the terminal building to the HSBC building next door.
    After a successful albeit boring meeting, I was taken to the Premier Inn Hotel at the airport, my place for the evening.

    I checked in online for my flight the next morning, and then headed off to sleep as I was absolutely exhausted, and had to be up early.

    Overall, the trip went really well, it was smooth with no hitches so I can't complain at all. The KLM flight was amazing, I would recommend them to everyone!

    My next report, will consist of my flights from Southampton-Manchester, Manchester to Barcelona and Barcelona-Florence.

    Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed!