Tried & Tested

KLM Cityhopper Fokker 50 economy class

8 Jul 2008 by Mark Caswell

CHECK-IN I arrived at London
City airport via the DLR from Canning Town
at 1500 for my flight to Amsterdam.
I made the short walk to the terminal and checked in immediately as there was
no queue, then went up the escalator and through security, which was also
quiet. The airside departure area (which has recently been extended – see
online news June 11), was busy but there were plenty of armchairs to go around.

BOARDING At 1625 I noticed my flight was ready for
boarding at Gate 9. I walked for about five minutes down a long corridor and
then down some steps to the small waiting area at ground level, where my
passport and boarding pass were checked again. After a couple of minutes’ wait
we crossed the tarmac and boarded the plane from the front.

THE SEAT I was in my seat (8F) by 1645, meaning we had ten
minutes to go before our scheduled take-off at 1655. The Fokker 50 turboprop
plane was tiny, with only 13 rows of seats (configured 2-2), and I was directly
below the right wing, giving me a clear view of the landing gear. There was a
reasonable amount of legroom and the seats, upholstered in blue nylon with pink
disposable headrests, were comfortable enough for the short flight.

THE FLIGHT The plane taxied into position at 1700 and took
off shortly after. The engines sounded extremely loud as we rose to cruising
altitude, especially under the wing, but seemed to quieten down a bit once we
had stopped climbing. At 1715, a trolley service came around and I was offered
a selection of soft and alcoholic drinks, and a pack with two small cheese and
pesto sandwiches and two small spinata
pork sandwiches in it. (A stewardess quickly came around a second
time offering anyone who wanted them another one.) The cabin crew were friendly
and efficient, and after a quick rubbish collection, we were soon making our
descent at 1745.

ARRIVAL It was slightly unnerving to watch the wheels
come out and hit the tarmac when we landed, but we touched down at 1900 – a little
earlier than expected –  and were
promptly disembarked. My bag was waiting for me by the time I was through
passport control and I was into Arrivals at Amsterdam Schiphol by 1920. Within
another ten minutes I had purchased a train ticket for  3.80 (by
card – the automatic ticket machine didn’t take cash) and was on a train to
Amsterdam Central station (journey time approximately 15 minutes).

VERDICT A short and sweet service. Both London City
and Amsterdam Schiphol airports have good transport links and are easy to
navigate, making this quick trip over the Channel relatively stress-free.

PRICE Typical economy class return fares from London to Amsterdam
with KLM start from £138 online.


Jenny Southan

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