Friday, February 28, 2014

" my KLM overview "

On our next trip to Europe,
we chose the royal dutch airlines aka KLM.

Initially, we planned to book Qatar airways, mainly because of its price,
but luckily, on the day we're about to book, KLM's website got cheaper.

This was supposedly for an earlier post. *last 2012*
That year though, our first stop was Berlin.
But again, because there are still NO DIRECT FLIGHTS from Manila to Europe,
thus,its connecting flight was at Taiwan, then Amsterdam, then Berlin.

Plain tickets and Passports = checked.

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sipping a cup of tea, whilst browsing,
which by the way has lots of interesting reads,
don't have way too much ads.

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music and movie choices...

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here's what we had in-between flights:
not in chronological order

this was offered to us from Madrid to Amsterdam on our way to Manila.
Indeed very healthy and guilt free.

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I think this was what we had from Manila to Taiwan,
we boarded during the night so,
this was our dindin.

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what's inside...
well, not really as enticing as it looks though.

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side dish...

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looking at the view,
just landed Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

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honestly haven't been into this country for more than a decade now,
I miss the Chinese characters, the Mandarin speaking scenario, the shopping and night markets.
It brings back good memories.

this was our transfer ticket. , don't lose this one,
this is like your 2nd boarding ticket.
as soon as you land,
a KLM team ushers you to its right direction,
so you're not left alone to go figure where you're headed next.

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a quick look inside the Taoyuan airport.
very hip and nice.

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and then another meal when we boarded.
but this time, i wasn't so hungry anymore.

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and voila!
after trying to get a good night's sleep inside the airplane that lasted more than 10 hours.
well, good luck on that!
There were two kids at the back of my seat who were intermittently crying and kicking and whining, almost non-stop.
then there was a new born (i think 3- 4 month old baby) in the center aisle,
who keeps crying also, especially when the plane gets a bit turbulent. ^0^
But on the bright side,
a glass of wine and an herbal medicine, kept me calm, and err... a bit sedated. ^0^

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I've just been Miffy-fied! ^0^
They're sooo adorable.

MIFFY is the official mascot of Amsterdam.

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"two roads diverged in a wood."

sometimes I get poetic. ^0^^

when we landed Amsterdam,
the signs were just twisted!
my first reaction was "Que Lío".
pure confusion at its big space.
only to realize that we had to literally walk from A to B,
boarding in less than 30 minutes,

whoa! we almost missed the flight,
because we were waiting at the wrong gate,
they informed us thru text that there were some changes,
but we weren't able to receive it,
hello?! the GLOBE roaming wasn't working then.

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here's me mimicking the über dashing Brad Pitt.

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and yes,
we even managed to hit the wi-fi for free.
Pepperoni brought her PSP.

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luckily, I re-check my ticket and asked the ground staff,
he then told us, we were the last 2 passengers and the plane was about to leave,
the ground staff quickly radio-ed the other end to wait for the two of us.

We, on the other hand literally drag our backpacks and ran as quickly as we can to get to the other gate,
made it almost in time.
I don't know what we'll do, if we really missed the flight. ^0^
needless to say,
we made it and then, on board, everyone was staring at us,
as if we're the very caused of this delay... * so embarrassing. *

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this is Berlin Schönefeld Airport.
It looks dated and has a very provincial feel to it. *sorry*
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we took a taxi that costs less than 25 euros to the city center and our hotel.

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and were so giddy when we finally saw a glimpse of Brandenburg gate.

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next post:
the second KLM review

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Monday, February 17, 2014

" Reasons why I DO NOT LIKE Qatar Airways "

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After coming home from Paris to Manila,
It bothered me whether or not I should vent out my dismay at this 5 star airline or just let it be.
After all, a trivial matter of one customer's dissatisfaction leaves nothing of importance.

Last 2011, Pepperoni and I had our first Euro trip and were headed to Barcelona,
which would arrived the same day given the 7 hour time difference.

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One of the many disadvantages in booking a flight here ( apart from acquiring a Schengen Visa and having it approved )
is that there are No Direct Flight to Europe.
Hence, a stop over is definitely needed.
The best option we could find at its cheaper rates at that time was Qatar.

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We stopped at DOHA, took a shuttle ride to the airport, wheeled ourselves in and out of the check in / immigration area,
and then got settled as we patiently waited for our flight to Barcelona.
Still 5-ish in the morning and the area wasn't crowded yet, even have lots of available seats.

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and this is how you do it:
you can sleep comfortably in one of these. ( i wonder if they don't get terrible stiff necks and back aches after ). ^-^

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Around 7-ish in the morning, as the crowds have started to gather, so does the noise begins.
the PA announcing flights for boarding, you hear people talking, sneezing, coughing, laughing, skype-ing (like me) and the works. ^0^

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Up in the air, the view doesn't get any better than this!
Look at how the sky changes from orange to blue.
hehe! i'm like a kid, i know. ^0^

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At some point before landing,
you're asked to fill up this immigration card.

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Now the moment we've been waiting for.
How was the food on the plane?

VERDICT: Very Good~!

PS: * these are not in chronological order, I can't remember which portion we had during and after,
but just an idea of what it look like. *

Here's the on-screen menu:

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The meals were freshly served and delicious.
They don't have that airplane taste . (if you know what i mean...)
I think this was the breakfast set.

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nicely designed cup. ^0^

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delectable cajun wraps (snacks in between flights)

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Now I think this was our first dindin,
I paired it with a small bottle of red wine, it helps me sleep. ^0^

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even the saltine crackers were tasty.

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I usually leave desserts behind, *sorry*
I always find it either too sweet or bland.
Surprisingly though,
they all tasted good. ^0^

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Pepperoni's choice for her dindin.

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and this is another set on board DOHA to BCN

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you'd seriously feel completely bloated afterwards.

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yummy assorted nuts and crunchies. ^0^

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This is my lifesaver!

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~ Lozenges that helped ease my parched throat, intermittent ringing ears and of course, saves bad breath! ^-^

Economy seats were so-so,
not much leg room,
but for me, this was better compared to KLM's economy seat,

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Even the In-house entertainment (movies, tv shows, games , musics) houses a variety than most of the airlines don't have.

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Here's me, reading my journal wondering what's the first thing we should do.

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In summary, we arrived safely to and from our destination and without delays.

B.U.T :

and there's the big BUT,
apart from all the good things I've shared,
what it lack was its SERVICE.

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The main reason was how flight attendants treated fellow passengers,
especially our local OFW's (*Overseas Filipino Workers*) without much respect and diplomacy.
I'm not talking about the foreign staffs at Qatar,
who were nothing but nice, accommodating and managed to put on a smile even when they're obviously tired with our rants and requests.
BUT those local Pinoy stewardess (not all),
who thinks highly of themselves and were clearly rude and disgruntled with their work.

On our way home from DOHA to Manila,
we were asked to queue for more than an hour, waiting to have our boarding pass checked and scanned,
my back was aching from carrying my backpack with me,
I thought the line would only take less than say 15 minutes.

When I reached the counter, not even a smile or hello from the ground staff.

On board the plane,
except for a few (like us) who were out of town for leisure,
majority of the passengers were ofws, they usually come in groups with
different sizes of hand carry luggage ranging from small to large.

1: Not one pinoy stewardess helped, they would only point at which overhead compartment was available.
( in other airlines, a foreign staff would instantly lend a hand without asking for it )

2: Instead of asking kindly to put the window shades down,
one attendant literally mandated the passenger,
"Bring the shades down and don't open it!, I already told you awhile ago."
( is that how you treat passengers? like 2 year old kids?! )

3: The passenger beside me was sleeping soundly, oblivious at his surroundings with his seat reclining.
Before landing, the stewardess came, instead of gently tapping at this guy ( who was again a local ofw),
the attendant shook him hard and said : " Put your seat in upright position, we're landing. "
( this is true,not making it up )

4: No food choices, they wouldn't even ask you what meals you like,
they hand it to you like some food ration,
take it or leave it.
( they can't wait for you to finish the meal, so they can rest early, now that's service! )

5: When it was finally my turn to go to the restroom, this very rude stewardess,
literally cuts my line and went inside,
obviously pretending as if I wasn't there.
afterwards. not even an apology, but a sheepishly smile and said," you can go inside now".
( yes, i was fuming mad afterwards, so mad, i was about to head to the complain department after we landed )

6: I find it unpleasant that a pinoy stewardess would smile while talking to a well-educated foreigner,
but not to a local ofw.
( if that isn't double standard, i don't know what is. )

7: I found out later that Pinoy attendants from Qatar airways were trained by Philippine Airlines,
not sure if it's true, but based on their performance, they have some similarities.

Overall, it was BAD SERVICE .
I wish I hadn't been on that plane,
this review would've been different.

It reminds me of Philippine Airlines all over again, that kind of seniority and discrimination.
I'm not sure if I want to book a flight again, at least, not yet for now.

I have high respect for Qatar airways but not at their Pinoy staffs.

next post:
reasons why I like KLM airlines

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