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Monday morning flight from Amsterdam Schiphol to Doha, Qatar with departure at 10h35. With check-in done on-line and only carry-on luggage, it was a simple strait dash from the train station to the passport control. A bit of a queue taking about 5 to 10 minutes. Then a 5 minute stroll to Terminal G.
(In all fairness: this bit is not about KLM, but Schiphol Airport.) Departure was from Gate G13. Expecting a departure from a proper gate (KLM is no budget airline, is it?), walked the wrong way and had to double back. See, G13 is down the stairs to where the busses are. Now at Schiphol international departures have the security check at the gate. The security wall for G11-G13 is set up about 20 metres from the bottom of a moving staircase. The security folks seemed to have a good time, and in all relaxation processed 600-700 people from 2 departing flights via one access door and two scanners. So as the crowd backed up towards the escalator, it got a bit tricky. The single KLM staffer however, stood her ground and fluently had all the business/elite flyers jump the queue. The whole security process took at least half an hour. Things got worse when the revolving door to get to the bus was jamming and the bus drivers were as organised as the sticks in a game of mikado.
The plane was a A330-200. Not the latest in design and technology (judging by the entertainment equipment), but the cabin was clean and neat. A proper welcome on board and off to seat 34J. I used the trip to get some work done, at least until the laptops battery ran out. For a day time flight there is enough space and the seats are reasonably comfortable for sitting. My laptop is rather big, so I could have used a few centimetres more space, but things were workable. Meanwhile listened to the on-board radio. The most annoying thing is, that the announcements interrupt the listening experience VERY LOUD. So, every time the captain or purser feel a need to inform you about something, you yank the earplugs out your ears. On this flight the captain and crew kept it short and concise.
The quality of the meal was fine in my case chicken in spicy sauce with rice. The service by the cabin staff was fine too. To make it “good” give it a little bit more personal touch and do it a little less loudly. (My colleagues and I chat and joke around in the workplace as well, but we’re not in a public place. Cabin staff is so make it a bit more professional.)
The original delay at departure of about 10 minutes was made up for and arrival at Doha was on time. By bus to the terminal. Procedures at Customs were fairly swift (15 minutes) and included buying an entry visa (100 QAR, 20 Euros, you can pay with credit card).
To summarize: after a poor departure from Schiphol a solid performance by KLM on the flight itself.