The sun setting in the distance as I await boarding at YUL on the way to AMS.

As I continued my Great 2012 Mileage Run, I returned from my layover in Montreal to Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to await my next flight, the segment of my trip which would take me to Europe. My flight was Delta’s Flight #9392, with service from YUL to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS). Though I bought the ticket through Delta, it was a codeshare flight, operated by KLM as flight #672. Flight #672 was scheduled to leave Montreal at 6:55pm, and it would be on the somewhat-ancient MD-11 aircraft.

The MD-11 is a large plane manufactured originally by McDonnell Douglas, before that company merged with Boeing. It is a fairly old model, with the last of its production in the year 2000. The MD-11 program was launched in 1986, and production on them started by 1988, with its first flight happening in January, 1990. It was quite a nice experience, as the interior design of the aircraft is still nicer than some of its successors. Another point that made the flight one that I appreciated was the fact that KLM is the last airline using this plane for intercontinental travel.

I got to the airport well before my 6:55pm departure time, and waited by the gate to board. Again, my new elite status with Delta Airlines allowed me to board early, and I settled in my seat, #28C. I was soon asked to get up by my seat neighbor, by a girl heading to Göteborg, Sweden, by way of AMS. The flight was really at a terrible time, in hindsight; I had thought that I would get some sleep, since the flight was leaving around 7pm and landing at Amsterdam-Schiphol at 7:50am. However, going east to that area in Europe means losing 6 hours, so I would really be landing in the wee hours of the morning, my New York time, which is when I normally go to sleep.

Jenny, my seat neighbor, and I began to talk. She is from Sweden and had come to Montreal for work. We had a lengthy and wonderful conversation, and ate dinner and had snack time together. I had never really met someone that I enjoyed talking to on flights, and I especially dread it on longer flights like this one, for fear of talking to someone for a long time who I would not want to talk to, but Jenny and I had interesting conversation about traveling, Amsterdam, Montreal, Sweden, and other topics. Though we both couldn’t fall asleep until towards the end, she really made that segment of the trip “fly” by.

I was able to get about an hour and a half of sleep, and I woke up about 45 minutes outside of Amsterdam. I have come to realize that there seems to be a shared intelligence among most passengers on each flight; when flying medium- to long-haul flights, where travelers often pass the time by sleeping, everyone seems to wake up around the same time, and it is usually within the last hour of the flight. I have noticed this phenomenon before, and I think I may have even initiated it on this particular trip; I got up around 45 minutes before we were scheduled to land, and slipped to the restroom while it was unoccupied. When I got out, there was some movement around my section of the cabin. Soon, seat backs began returning to their upright positions, more weary-eyed fliers got up to use the restroom, and babies started crying. Five minutes after that, the cabin lights went on, and we were soon served a last drink and snack before landing.

As we landed at Schiphol, the sky was still dark, though it was almost 8am. We deplaned, then Jenny and I walked over to the smoking area, a convenience still available in most of Europe, unlike America, and had a relaxing cigarette together before parting ways to our separate destinations.

2/2/12 – Montreal to Amsterdam

  • 3417 miles (5500 km).
  • Delta Flight 9392 YUL (6:55pm) to AMS (7:50am).
  • Operated by KLM as KLM #672.
  • It looks like it’s a long flight, but I lost 6 hours going east, so I arrived in Amsterdam at almost 2am NYC time.
  • I tried to sleep, but ended up getting only about 2 hours; had a nice, long conversation instead.
  • Hotel not necessary for the night of Feb 2-3.
  • 2+ hours layover in Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport.