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LONG NW/AS/KL/AF MR ORD-OTP x2 in Y

LONG NW/AS/KL/AF MR ORD-OTP x2 in Y

Old Feb 4, 07, 12:17 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Round Lake, IL
Programs: UA GS, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 1,064
Talking LONG NW/AS/KL/AF MR ORD-OTP x2 in Y

Part 1...In the beginning
I was lucky enough to get in on the great NW YVR-OTP deal a few months ago. I originally booked YVR-AMS-OTP and decided to make it into a huge mile run. The finalized itin was:
2/1:
NW133 ORD-MSP
NW217 MSP-PDX
AS2190 PDX-YVR
KL682 YVR-AMS
2/2:
KL1361 AMS-OTP
2/3:
AF1089 OTP-CDG
AF50 ORD-CDG
2/9:
AF51 ORD-CDG
2/10:
AF2088 CDG-OTP
2/11:
KL1358 OTP-AMS
KL681 AMS-YVR
AS2235 YVR-SEA
NW208 SEA-DTW
2/12:
NW1235 DTW-ORD

Phew, thats a lot of flying...I just returned from the first round trip portion of the trip (it is 2/4).

2/1 NW133 ORD-MSP A319
I arrived at ORD at 545 for my 7am flight. It had been a month or so since I flew through ORD so I did not know that the construction changed the location of the elite security line. The line was huge and somehow I found a way to cut in. When I got to the ID checker I asked what happened to the priority line. He nicely pointed to a HUGE sign down the right end of the terminal where they opened a new check point - oy, now I feel dumb.

I arrived at the gate with about 45 min until departure. I was already upgraded 6 days out to my preferred 1C so I just went to the agent to swipe my passport and relax.

It turns out our flight had only 20 people on it. I spent the majority of the flight asleep since I was tired and had a long day ahead. My compliments to the very alert F F/A that noticed exactly when I woke and jumped to my seat to offer a beverage. This was exceptional considering she was in the middle of reading a good magazine and actually put it down without me asking. See - they aren't all lazy!

We arrived in MSP on time.

NW217 MSP-PDX 757-300
Normally I would spend a little time in the NW WorldClub, but since this was a full flight and I wasnt upgraded (and only had 45 minutes between flights) I went to the gate. I took the approach of, "I KNOW F is full (save her from making the comment) but how many no-shows do you need for me to get an upgrade". With a nice laugh she asked if I was gold. I promptly let her know I was not...but I was platinum if that helped. She took a quick look and said it might be my lucky day as I was number 1. Ten minutes after boarding started I had my new F seat in 6A.

We left the gate on time but waited about 20 minutes for deicing. This was not a big deal since they build some of this into the winter schedule and I did have about 2+ hours to kill in Portland. The flight was rather uneventful except all they had to serve were eggs. Usually I sit in 1C and get my cereal but there was nothing left so I just took the bagel. It wasnt bad, but its NOT a NY bagel!

On the descent into PDX we past just to the right of Mt Hood and I took some great pictures (ok, it was with my phone so its only a 2MP). The view was fantastic and well worth the loss of some sleep. We arrived in PDX only 5 minutes late after the 20 minute delay.

AS2190 PDX-YVR Q200
After arriving in PDX I took a long walk over to the AS Boardroom. It was pretty nice but it was not like some of the Hub NW WCs. They were very polite and I had a nice chat with one of their agents. He directed me to a place in the airport for lunch where I had a nice turkey sandwich before heading for the flight.

I arrived at the gate with 15 min until boarding. Since this was a small plane we would have to trek through the tarmac to the stairs - which was nice since it was not freezing like in ORD. The flight was pretty nice, although I had a seat on the wrong side of the plane. If you ever fly PDX-YVR then get a seat on the east side of the plane for awesome views of the mountains. The F/A was extremely nice throughout the flight and spent time chatting with everyone and joking around. All in all, the Horizon flight was a positive experience.

KL682 YVR-AMS A330-200
When I arrived in YVR I was in for several shocks -
1. The walk from the plane to border patrol was HUGE. I would swear that it is shorter to walk the length of DTW A than this walk (I might be a little overexaggerating but you get my point).
2. The inspection was VERY thorough - especially since I was only connecting and not asking to enter the country.
3. The international area was horrible because of construction.

Anyway, it is not as bad as that sounds. The inspector was border control was very polite the whole time. He asked for boarding passes, reservations, and a nice story of why I did not actually want to see Canada. Part of me believes he was just happy to talk to someone that spoke english since the 5 people ahead of me looked more like problem entries. After finishing with him I made a quick right and staying in the secure area to avoid more screening.

Once I was through I made my way to the Business lounge (its nice being skyteam elite plus). The lounge was decent with selections of beverages and some light "meal-like" snacks. I had some vegetarian rice and a few coke-lites (much better than diet coke or diet pepsi). About 30 min before boarding I walked over to the gate.

Once thing I always enjoy doing before a flight is to spend 15 minutes at the boarding gate just looking around at all the people. This gives me a chance to just see new and different people (and one time run into a childhood friend 3000 miles from home). I just love looking at the travelling families with kids playing, the couples going on a nice romantic trip, the business people trying to keep in touch - its better than tv at times.

We boarded on time and I got into my bulkhead seat 10H. Being a frequent A330 300 flyer I typically love this seat - but unfortunately this was a 200 and the leg room at the bulkhead is actually WORSE than a regular seat - doh!.

I love flying KLM. I grew up watching the Smurfs and every time I see a KLM flight attandent I am reminded of my childhood (of course this explanation does not go over as well with a KLM flight attandent).

Service on board was acceptable. We had a chicken dish in some kind of Teriyaki sauce with some chocolate dessert. It wasnt bad, but it was not C/F food. Service was very timely at first, but cleanup seemed a little slow - not the end of the world.

We were airbourne for about 4 hours before they finally turned down the lights. I was hoping for a good long sleep but in the end it was only dark in the cabin for 4 hours. This did not help, but neither did the bulkhead wall. I could not get comfortable because my legs were 2 inches too long to stretch. I think I slept 2 broken hours. Before landing we received a quick egg sandwich (I passed on it). Finally we arrived in AMS on time at the Polderbaan for our 100 mile taxi (ok, not really 100 miles, but do a search on there for Polderbaan and you will understand).

Part 2...Schiphol fun
2/2 KL1361 AMS-OTP 737-900
Welcome to Amsterdam, the local time is 1300. Of course my next flight is not until 2020 so its time to have some fun in the airport. The weather wasn't too great so I decided to make a day at Schiphol (which I now finally know how to pronounce as shipole). After arriving from 24 hours of traveling I smelled (yes, you have to be honest with yourself - mileage runners are not the best smelling people). I made a bee line directly for the KLM crown lounge for a shower - and THIS is why it is nice to be platinum. I reached the club to find out there was a 1 hour wait for the showers - but I could wait, I had nothing better to do. The club was crowded and the only available seat was next to several chimneys (ok, smokers). I figured so what, I will shower soon. After a long 1 hour wait I received my key for #2. The showers werent bad - a little dated - but in that moment it was like finding a pot of gold. 15 minutes later I smelled...good (which is nice while you are on the road). Now it was time for fun.

I took a walk down to the Holland Casino to kill a little time at Blackjack and Roulette. I heard they finally got rid of their stupid standoff rule (Casino wins on Ties) so it should be fun. I sit down at a table with this guy who just came in from Africa. I watched him play a little and was shocked that he would hit on 16 when the deal has a 6 or other really bad plays. I asked him his strategy and he said "I KNOW the next card coming so I go with my instinct". He lost 500 euros in the next 5 hands. Finally he had an 11 to the dealer's 6 with a 100 euro bet. I told him to double down and he asked me how I knew. I told him the next card was a King, followed by a 7 and another king (giving him 21 and busting the dealer). He listened and did in. He gets a king - and I laugh. I told him I had a 1 in 13 chance of getting that right but a 4 in 13 chance of him getting 21 so it was the right bet regardless. He thanked me for the info...and then the dealer gets his second card - a 7 (for 13). Now the guy next to me gets a little shocked cause I got 2 in a row right. The dealer hits - a king. Now the pit boss comes over and asks how I did that. I told him that the other guy believed he was psychic and he had an 11. I wanted to give him a reason to double down so I made up the next 3 cards as a guess and I was right. Everyone was shocked at my luck and the African guy gave me a 50 euro tip if I would stay at the table and give him advice. He ended up leaving 3000 euros up from my suggestions and now believes I am a miracle worker.

Then I headed over to the roulette table. One strange guy there had 1 chip left and toss it to the dealer and walks away. After the number is called he walks back claiming he told the dealer to put it on that number. As you can imaging a fight ensues. 30 minutes of yelling, screaming, threats, and calm dutch dealers just giving this guy a weird look. Finally they agreed to pay him his 36 chips on his 1. Then I notice he was using 100 euros as the base for the chips - they let him cheat the casino for 3500 euros!!! Why don't I have the balls to try this one.

Anyway, after 4 hours I left the casino down only 20 euros so it was a decent use of my time for fun. I proceeded back to the KLM lounge for some snacks, drinks, and internet time. Sitting in the lounge I started to play a game with myself - guess the country of origin. I would sit at a table and pick a person in the lounge. Using the appearance, mannerisms, choices of food, dialogue (if speaking) and other clues I tried to guess where the person was from. I would say after 10 games I was at 70% accuracy. Not bad - not bad at all (its amazing what will entertain a mile runner). 1900 approached and I thought I will head over to the gate to check out the Romanians.

Getting through to the gate was standard Schiphol proceedure. Quick additional screening and you go into the holding pen. I was one of the first through and just sat back and watched screening. For some reason 5 different woman (and 1 guy) needed the pat down. Unlike the US version, it seemed both the screener and the subject was enjoying it. It looked like the screeners were paying a lot of attention to the women's breasts, almost to the point that I felt like I was watching something pornographic. I had a little time and actually asked one of the friendly screeners why they were so interested in that part. Apparently not too long ago an eastern european woman smuggles some things attached to a rather large underwire bra. So a note to travelers to eastern European travelers - if you want a nice chest massage, hold on to your metal!

We boarded the flight - everything was pretty smooth. There was 1 person in the 3 rows of European Select and a full cabin in back. I was sitting in row 4 (first row of Y). KLM was nice enough to block the seat next to me - I love being Platinum. Food service was ok. We ate something (in all honesty I was quite tired and had no clue what I ate - I just remember it was food). Following dinner I had a lovely conversation with a young woman (early 30s - ok, im 27 so an older woman but I do not want to insult her by calling her old). She was a cosmetics salewoman from Hamburg that specialized in eastern europe. I received one heck of a lesson in cosmetics and how the market is huge out there (although one look around the boarding lounge could tell you how much cosmetics was appreciated). Towards the end of the flight she asked if I would like to go to dinner but I explained to her that I was staying at the airport to catch a 6 am flight (4 hour wait for check in to open) and wouldnt have time to leave the airport. Too bad - she was pretty hot too (I hope my wife isnt reading this - although I know she is so let me remind her how much I love her and only her).

Part 3...Saran Wrap, Illegal Internet, and more waiting
2/3 AF1089 OTP-CDG A319
So here I am. It is 0015 and I am in Bucharest. I know nothing about Bucharest - the language, the people, the culture, or even where I am other than an airport. I make my long trek to border control, say a quick hello, get my stamp and enter my first eastern european country - and then it hits me...the Bucharest taxi driver. I had no intentions of getting a taxi, but 20 different taxi drivers had their own opinions. I was solicited which I quickly replied that I am leaving the country. I was then offered cards for future trips, promises of great times, fun, cheap women, anything to get me to take their cards. I swear, its easier walking around buck naked on the south side of Chicago with hundreds of dollars taped to my body than it is to get through the taxi drivers - but I survived. I reached the departures lounge for my 4 hour wait for check in.

My first thoughts of the airport were very positive. The airport was clean and well lit with many police officers securing the area. I thought the airport was much nicer than many US airports (ahem, ORD). I spent most of my time roaming around, reading, taking in the locals, and experiencing Romania - and some experiences were interesting...

While waiting I decided to take out my laptop and see if there was any Wifi points. I was surprised to find one called "Free Wireless Internet". I began to think that Romania was quite a good country, but that lasted about 10 seconds when I noticed that this was not a real access point but rather a peer to peer connection. Anyone know what that means? That means someone set up their computer to let you connect to it for file sharing, but in a place like an airport it means someone is waiting for an unsuspecting person to connect and then to steal all their information. Fortunately I was wise to the game, and the local police found it quite interesting. Since there was nothing for them to do at 100, they were quite willing to listen and enthusiastic to investigate. I guess airport computer crimes are not frequenlty seen there and maybe a break like this can help someone get a nice promotion.

So I keep waiting...and waiting...and waiting...more and more people keep coming in. There are families with thousands of kilos of baggage, back packers with the enourmous duffles, and asian tour groups. And then I saw the most fascinating invention - the bag wrapper. Apparently it is considered a big deal in Romania to totally wrap your bag in saran wrap for checking it in. 2 people put your bag on a device that looks like an oversized turntable and proceed to encase the bag in clear plastic wrap. Everyone seems to do it, and at 18 Ron its pretty affordable. When they are done they cut holes for your handles and wheels and give you a large sticker to write your information on the bag. I thought this was a great invention, but I hope for the sake of these people they never have to connect from an international flight through the US. Could you imagine the TSA having the thrill to open a bag covered in saran wrap? I think that would be one heck of a fun sight.

Air France check in was a breeze. I requested a lounge pass for being SkyTeam elite plus and had no problems obtaining it. Security was quick and efficient (TSA, you can learn a lot from your Romanian counterparts). The lounge was very clean and well stocked with snacks, drinks, and Romanian beer (if it wasnt 5am I would have tried some). After a little rest and snack I headed out for shopping at the Romanian Wine Shop. For anyone travelling through OTP, they have a fantastic local wine store with great (and affordable) selections. I picked up a nice fruity white and a rich full bodied red and headed to board.

Boarding was one big cattle call. No F boarding...no elite boarding...just get on. I felt right at home with this method as it has happened many times on NW. The plane was very full, but AF came through and blocked the middle seat for me. Kudos to AF and KL for keeping their elites happy like this. The plane was quite clean and the staff was very friendly. I noticed one oddity with the flight crew - a French flight from a Romanian city to a French city - and all the flight attendants defaulted to speaking English??? I was so ready to place my order in french and when I did I received a nice english Thank you, would you like some water with breakfast. Come on, its AF - speak french! I dont know why this bugged me so much, but it did.

after take off we had a seat crasher. This guy stuck in a middle Y seat thought he could go take an empty row in Affairs and claim it. The AF flight attendants would have nothing of it and made the guy move after some serious debate. He was not happy at all, but tough luck.

Breakfast was served. The meal was quick large with bread, pain au chocolat, cheese, a yogurt and oats mix, and something else that I ate but really can not remember what it was. It was quite edible and very filling compared to most US domestic F meals (remember, this is Y).

We arrived in Paris on time at CDG 2B...let the fun begin!

Part 4...Hot French Women and Cold Chicago
2/3 AF50 ORD-CDG A330-200
Bienvenue a Paris!

Arriving in Paris is easy, getting around in CDG is not! It has now been 24 hours since I showered and I can sense a stench forming again. The last thing I want is to smell bad on a 4 hour layover and 10 hour flight so its off to the AF 2C arrivals lounge for a shower. Easier said than done. I jump on the bus from 2B (after being squeezed in like a sardine) for the ride to 2F, 2E, and finally 2C. I would say that the bus ride was very similar to a gang rape with people constantly banging into you on all sides - and like I mentioned before...I smell...and I was still the better odor on the bus. I arrive in 2C, head through passport and customs (in 2 min) and then it hits me...now I have to be rescreened and I had Romanian wine in my bags that they wont let through screening...doh!

The 2C arrivals lounge was very nice. The showers were clean and very modern - much better than Schiphol. After a nice hot shower I felt clean, but it didn't fully take. To any Seinfeld fan they would understand that, but if you dont here is what happens: You are tired and hot and then you take a hot shower. Unfortunately it was so hot that even after the shower you continue to sweat on your forehead. So even though you are clean and showered you dont completely feel it for a while.

Showered and clean, I walk from 2C to 2E. Its not a bad walk, and in fact it was much easier than the bus (unless you like to be gang raped). I head over to check in to check my now illegal bag (yet if I never left security it would go right in). Check in goes quick since I can use the Affairs line. I usually travel on US flag carriers from Paris (NW) but on AF it is much easier. There is no dumb security interview where they ask me when my last rectal exam was - all I get is a simple "did you pack your own bags". After 36 hours of flying at that point it was good that I didnt have to answer anything tough because I probably did not know my name. I continue through passport and security again without any problem and then grab the 20 minute bus to the remote stand (what seems like Normandy at that distance).

Once at the remote stand I take my usual seat in the AF lounge there for a little relaxation. They usually have some very good sandwiches there but not this time - and I was a little disappointed about the lack ouf a sandwich poulet - grrr...After an hour I head over to buy some wine since I used up almost all my french wine at home. I picked up a few bottles of Burgundy and a nice bottle of 1999 Moet Vintage Rose that I can never seem to find in the states.

Boarding was the typical mass AF cattle call, which was a little more surprising on an A330. There was no call for Elites or even Affairs class. I get on board and take my seat in 20K (second row of Y - it was a 330-200 and I didnt want to take the chance of the bulkhead like on KLM). Fortunately 20J was empty so I got to stretch out.

At this point I havent slept more than 4 hours in 2 full days. I remember pushing back and then I remember seeing Greenland. At that point I wake up and get comfortable for some more reading (This trip was Count of Monte Cristo - a LONG book - and even my 500 page abridged version - the full version does not fit in any of my bags). I am sitting there reading when I notice a young (read - my age) french woman sitting across the aisle. She was the typical hot french woman that makes you want to look (and look and look and look). After about an hour she pulls out a book and I notice it as the book I just finished (Suite Francaise - highly recommended). We start to talk about the book, life in France, life in the US, life in general, business (turns out we are in the same fields), her business trip to Chicago (with several other collegues) - oh, did I mention she was hot - just checking. Anyway, it was probably the best 3 hour conversation I ever had on a plane. She did ask for my business card and gave me her email address (just for chatting) and we parted on arrival. I told her I was heading back Thursday on AF51 and she said she was going back Friday - oh well (note - to those looking at my itinarary, for some reason I did not translate 2/9 as really Friday - so I will be on her flight going back...and did I mention she was HOT).

One interesting point, AF330s have a nose and ground camera hooked up to the AVOD. Upon approach they turned on the camera to look down on all seats. As we flew over Lake Michigan the group of french people asked what was that we were flying over. It looked like somewhere near Greenland or Baffin. I explained to them how cold it was in Chicago and that was lake Michigan frozen over. Have you ever seen a look of Panic on a Frenchman's face? Well its a funny sight. I explained that is was Zero degrees and they said that wasnt bad. Then I told them it was not in Celsius and was actually about 15 below zero and panic set in. The one woman I was talking to told me she did not have a winter coat because french people dress thin to show off their figure. I explained that no one has a figure in Chicago during winter except ROUND.

Arrivals in ORD was pretty easy. It took me 30 minutes to get from plane to exit. Passport control was very polite (unlike past experiences). I had a nice chat with the gentleman and he asked how long my trip was since my frm said I visited Canada, Netherlands, Romania, and France on this trip. I told him I left on Thursday - that gave him a nice laugh "Oh, you are one of those people". I said yes, but at least I got to go shopping in a few countries and have a great trip.

All in all, the first round trip to Romania and back was quite enjoyable. I look forward to Friday and AF51 (see 2 paragraphs back...)

Part 5...Ships passing in the night
2/9 AF51 ORD-CDG A330-200

It's time to start all over again. After 16000 miles flown last week I arrived at the airport (ORD T5) to start all over again - except in reverse. I arrive at 130 after completing some work in the city to find out that AF does not open check in until 2pm. Not the end of the world - but would have been nice to know before hand. Check in was very quick and efficient. Since I was going shopping in Paris and taking a shower there I asked if I could short-check my bag to CDG even though I was continuing. They were very accomodating.

I passed through security quite quickly and headed over to Salon AF. They had a nice selection of magazines (most french but some others) and I settled in to some good french sports rags. After some reading and drinking my customary grapefruit juice (I need my vitamin C to keep healthy on long runs) I headed to the gate for an hour of people watching - and I saw something I liked. Sitting there with her coworkers was the hot french girl from last week. Being familiar with their customs and seperation of work/personal life I decided to leave her alone with her coworkers (a mistake I will later regret).

Boarding was the typical AF cattle call - no C boarding or Elite boarding. The flight was rather empty so I had half a row to myself. Unfortunately the row I had also had immovable arm rests so it did not help much.

Dinner was a beef with pasta and all the typical fare - what I had on the last flight. Unlike KLM, on this overnight flight they served the meal quickly and got out of our way to sleep. Just before going to sleep the woman in the row right in front of me found out her light was broke - it goes on but not off. Lucky me (seriously...it was) they moved her right next to me. For the next few hours I got the opportunity to meet this cute young french girl that happens to live in Chicago working for the consulate. It turns out she was heading to Asia (the long way - of course). Its always nice meeting new people and interesting conversation.

Landing in CDG was on time and the busing (while annoying) was quick and efficient. I'm in Paris - tired and a little smelly - time to shower and shop! I reclaimed my bag and headed over to the same 2C arrivals lounge. This time (to my surprise) I was denied entry. After some discussion about how I was here last week, my platinum skyteam plus status, yadda yadda yadda, she let me in and I got my shower. Smelling good I head over to the Roissybus for a quick shopping trip. I catch the bus and we head over to T3 to pick up more passengers. While boarding about 50 people get on. Although we still had room on the bus, for some reason the bus driver decided it was time to go and left 2 little old ladies at the stop. Ah, tis the french - the customer does not come first.

Once in Paris I head over to two of my favorite (and wife's favorite) stores. First I head to Maison du Chocolat for chocolate and then to Durance for bath products. Now that the shopping is done I head to Cafe de la Paix for lunch (I usually stay there on long trips at the IC so I figure I might as well revisit). I sat down at 11:55 and asked the waiter in my best french for Le Formule. He responds Non - Midi. I respond (while pointing to my watch) 5 minute! He responds Midi. I shrug and order off the all day menu - because in france the customer does not come first. I am not trying to be negative against their culture because I totally understand their point of view and expect it, but I do have to wonder what a typical American would do if told he cant have the lunch menu because he is 5 minutes early. I settled for the soup and some water for my next hour of people watching.

Coming next - CDG again...

Part 6...You wait and wait and wait some more
2/10 AF2088 CDG-OTP A319

So I hop on the Roissybus for the ride back to CDG 2B. Arriving there 4 hours before the flight I got my first rude awakening - check in at CDG for intra-europe flights does not begin until 1 hour 30 min prior to departure. With nothing to do I head over the lounge. At this point I havent slept in 36 hours so I curl up on the couch for some nice rest.

I am a sound sleeper and find it hard to sleep when I know that oversleeping can cause huge headaches - i am sure I am not the only one. I put my headphones in and set my cell phone alarm for the 90 min check in mark. I would sleep a few min then wake up in a hot sweat feeling like I missed the flight. Repeat this 20 times! With about 2 hours to checkin I wake up again to see this hot spanish girl sitting next to me...oy...now I cant sleep at all.

Finally...check in. I head to the Affairs check in line and have no problem getting my seats and bags checked. Then I head over to the gate. This is when I realize that I still haven't gone through security - oh wait, its at the gate. Am I the only one that hates gate security checks? I feel like I am a prisoner for the next hour. At least I did not have to use the rest room.

Boarding was by bus and since it was a windy and noisy night I watched several people misguidedly almost walk into the engine of another plane that just parked and was still hot. How fun...

AF was nice enough to hold for me the middle seat so I had plenty of room. That was quite nice (again) since it was the only open seat in Tempo. Take off was on time and 5 min into the flight the seatbelt signs come off and I head to the lav. This is where it gets fun.

I am #3 in line to use the lav. All of a sudden we hit a huge patch of turbulence while climbing. My natural instinct was to jump into the first empty seat next to me and strap in (good idea since I just felt weightlessness standing in the aisle). 5 seconds later there is a hot AF flight attandent on my lap as she also needed to grab the next empty seat (and was basically knocked over onto me). She quickly turns to me, takes my arms and tells me to hold on to her like it was my own life. Great, now I am a seat belt - but like almost every french woman I have ever met she was hot so I had no problem whatsoever wrapping my arms around her to keep her down for the next min. The turbulence finally let up a little and she went back to her jumpseat. Fortunately with EXTREME focus I was able to survive that incident without feeling embarrassed for my "little friend" deciding to stand up - mainly cause I was too worried about living. One rule I have on planes - when the F/As are panicking then its bad.

I stayed in this new seat for the next 5 minutes until someone came and asked for the seat. Thats when I realized it was the guy that was stuck in the lav the entire time. He stunk something bad and looked very wet on the legs. I didn't want to know what happened...I just got up, used the lav, and went to my own seat.

The evening meal was a nice something (I still havent slept and we were around hour 40). I remember liking it but thats about all I remember. I have to credit AF for having rather good food - even in Y. There was nothing they served that I didn't like.

We landed on time in Bucharest - now I get my first experience outside the airport. I met my driver for my ride to the Bucharest Intercontinental. The ride was rather quick - about 20 minutes. The views were interesting. I saw what looked like old style housing (almost like what I have seen in videos of North Korea), high end car dealers, casinos, bars, and palaces. It was an interesting mix - worth seeing more of some time.

The hotel was nice and clean. My room had a nice view and all my royal ambassador perks were well met. I wont go into too many details other than the hotel was great and I highly recommend it.

More coming later after...stay tuned for highlights of...
2/11 KL1358 OTP-AMS 737
KL681 AMS-YVR A330-200
AS2235 YVR-SEA Q200
NW208 SEA-DTW 757-300
2/12 NW1235 DTW-ORD DC9-50

And more interesting anectdotes including...
Amsterdam, gate changes, bumps, and op-ups
The hot Canadish woman
Vancouver and the ear drum issues
Lost F seats
Yells of the NW flight attendant
Arrival!

Gary

Last edited by gldwebs; Feb 13, 07 at 8:32 pm Reason: Part 6 added
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Old Feb 4, 07, 1:28 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Great report so far. You are right, that is a whole lot of flying. Hopefully there won't be many weather delays. I look forward to hearing more.
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Old Feb 4, 07, 2:03 pm
  #3  
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Part 2...Schiphol Fun has been added
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Old Feb 4, 07, 6:44 pm
  #4  
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Part 3 and 4 are up. Next update will be next weekend.
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Old Feb 4, 07, 8:44 pm
  #5  
 
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^ ^ to OTP
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Old Feb 4, 07, 8:46 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by WindFlyer View Post
^ ^ to OTP
Definitely - quite a fine airport! Makes me curious for next weekend when I leave the airport and sleep at the IC.
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Old Feb 7, 07, 11:32 pm
  #7  
aw
 
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Very entertaining report ^. AF never boards by class or Elite status, especially out of CDG. The only time they give priority is to physically challenged passengers or families traveling with children.
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Old Feb 8, 07, 9:12 am
  #8  
 
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Good read .. thanks for the report!
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Old Feb 8, 07, 9:51 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by aw View Post
Very entertaining report ^. AF never boards by class or Elite status, especially out of CDG. The only time they give priority is to physically challenged passengers or families traveling with children.
I had read about the french version of the queue before, but it was quite another thing to experience it. It gives a new meaning to the idea of priority boarding (I get priority because I say I do method).
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Old Feb 8, 07, 10:34 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by aw View Post
Very entertaining report ^. AF never boards by class or Elite status, especially out of CDG. The only time they give priority is to physically challenged passengers or families traveling with children.
in my experience they do board by class and status in JFK and SFO.
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Old Feb 8, 07, 12:12 pm
  #11  
 
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^ Keep it coming !
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Old Feb 8, 07, 3:32 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by canard View Post
in my experience they do board by class and status in JFK and SFO.
And, contrary to DL, when there is priority boarding, if you are in the premium cabins or if you enjoy elite status, you do not need to be there when boarding starts. You have a priority line which is open during the entire boarding process. That's my vision of priority boarding. If only AF could implement it across the network ...
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Old Feb 8, 07, 8:17 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by JOUY31 View Post
And, contrary to DL, when there is priority boarding, if you are in the premium cabins or if you enjoy elite status, you do not need to be there when boarding starts. You have a priority line which is open during the entire boarding process. That's my vision of priority boarding. If only AF could implement it across the network ...
The ONLY nice part of no priority boarding is that you dont have to worry if they will call for elite boarding or not...you KNOW they wont.
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Old Feb 8, 07, 8:19 pm
  #14  
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To all those following this thread, tomorrow I leave for part 2. I will try to keep it updated while on the road.

If anyone will be in Paris on Saturday between 1000 and 1400, I am looking to meet up for lunch!
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Old Feb 8, 07, 10:48 pm
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Originally Posted by gldwebs View Post
To all those following this thread, tomorrow I leave for part 2. I will try to keep it updated while on the road.

If anyone will be in Paris on Saturday between 1000 and 1400, I am looking to meet up for lunch!

Have a safe flight.
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