Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bucharest, Romania June 2008: Arriving in Henri Coanda International, Bucharest Romania (OTP)

14JUN08 Henri Coanda International, Bucharest Romania (OTP)

We touched down on runway 26L-08R at 4:48p and taxied to the end of the runway. I could see a number of planes on the right side of the runway.

This is the home of Tarom, so it was great to see their planes everywhere.

A Boeing 737 being salvaged just outside the hangar.

We deplaned and headed for the Immigration area. On our way there, we could see our plane as well as an Austrian Airlines Airbus A319.

There was a lady with a name on a sign, we figured correctly that it was Woody's assumed travel name. We headed for the Customs area and entered the meet and greet area. We walked around a bit, found an Exchange place, found out that the 783 is our bus into the city for 7 LEU for two rides and caught the 5:30p packed bus into the city for the 30 minutes ride. We had asked for a map at the Information booth, but there was none. Instead, we were sent to a magazine store around the corner to buy one. We decided against that.

Bucharest, Romania June 2008: Amsterdam Schipol (AMS) to Henri Coanda International, Bucharest Romania (OTP)

KL1359 14JUN08 Amsterdam Schipol International Amsterdam Netherlands (AMS) to Henri Coanda International, Bucharest Romania (OTP) 12:55p 4:50p 738 with winglets PH-BXZ

Flight Time: 2:25
Seat Map

As we walked down the jetway, we could see that it was backed up and there was one guy who was constantly talking on the cell phone in a non-English as loud as he could voice. We passed him and joined the queue and he later joined us. Woody was just about five persons ahead of us; this must suck for a celebrity having to wait in a queue at the risk of being chatted up by some odd fan.

My colleague and I talked about who may get the opportunity to sit next to him. As we boarded, I realized that my colleague had won.

This aircraft has 15 Business Class seats in a 3-3 configuration; Economy class is also a 3-3 configuration. The legroom is pretty decent in Business Class as well as the recline and there is a power plug for each seat.

I looked forward and noticed that the back of Woody's hat said "It doesn't get anymore real than this - coming soon". I have no idea what that means.

At 12:56p, the Captain came on the PA and advised that we had a 30 minutes delay so that makes a 1:25p pushback so we were going to wait for some passengers who were coming from Ireland and Toronto. He also announced that our flying time was 2:25 and that he was taking on extra fuel so that he could speed up and get is there ontime despite the delay. I thought that was funny in this age of expensive fuel. He continued saying that the weather was partly cloudy at 25C.

It was 1:01p when about fourteen passengers showed up; I think from Toronto. The flight attendant had advised us that one of us had to move as since we waited for the other passengers we would be full. As it turns out though, we did not have to move.

It was 1:10p, when the door was closed and 13 after when the slides on the doors were armed. At 18 after we pushed back and five minutes later, we started to move forward. As we were pushing back, this airplane showed up next to us. I've never seen it before; it has a URL at It turns out that it is Pegasus Airlines and I've seen their planes before, but usually they are yellow.

It was great to see two Martinair (MP) Boeing 767-300ERs in the two current livery color as well an Olympic Airways Boeing 737-400 taxiing out to the runway 18L-36R.

We headed out to the runway and had to wait for an Arkefly Boeing 737-800 with winglets to take off then we were headed down the runway in no time with not much waiting.

I did notice this Asiana Boeing 747-400 heading our way as well as we barreled down runway 18L.

The inflight service started with a pack of smoked almonds, and beverages at about 5:40p. I had the Bourgogne Chardonnay 2005 "Vieilles Vigues" Bouchard Aine & Fils which was quite good.

I asked the flight attendant about the in-seat power and she said that it is all new and she would figure out how to get it started.

At 5:56p, a much needed hot towel was handed out. Look at outside.

As I was doing the blog and running out of power, it was switched on J. Excellent, now I can work some more without losing power. She then came by and advised me that it was on which was really very thoughtful.

The main meal service stared at 2:12p as our journey continued across Europe heading east towards Bucharest. Our choices today were beef or pasta; I opted for the Malay beef served with rice and green beans although I knew I’d probably have some issues eating it, but I did not really feel for pasta. With that , I switched to red wine ( Gran feudo Crianza 2004); the flight attendant was sure to switch my glass with a smile. The meal was accompanied by a warm roll with a skewer of chicken smoked prawns served with red curry coconut sauce accompanied by citrus yoghurt dessert with blackcurrant coulis.

Clean up followed at 2:31p with an offering of after dinner drinks as well as coffee or tea.

Duty free sales started at 3:05p; it funny as the lady across from me wanted five of the same items I wanted and there were only two of them. Here is an airport we passed.

I don't know which airport is this one? Do you?

At 3:19p, the Captain came on the PA and made an announcement that he had just started our descent and that we would land in 30 minutes with a time difference of 1 hour from Amsterdam; the temp is 24C. It was really hard to hear him though.

We then prepared for landing as we got closer to the beautiful country side. As I looked out the window, I could see the city in the distance.

Bucharest, Romania June 2008: Arriving in Amsterdam Schipol (AMS) from Houston Intercontinental (IAH)

14JUN08 Amsterdam Schipol International Amsterdam Netherlands (AMS)

It was 11:44a, when we touched down on runway 18R. it was a creepy touchdown and I felt all the correction the pilot had to make to keep the aircraft steady on the runway. I looked off to the side and saw some plane spotters watching our spectacular landing.

I hate landing this far out as it means it will take about ten minutes to get to the gate and it did. Not to worry, it was great to see the planes as we taxied in. Of course a few KLMs as well as the Suriname Airways Boeing 747-300 which was originally owned by KLM.

It took a while to get off the plane after we docked. We made a bee line for the Flight Information Display and noticed that it said our gate was D12 which was 10 minutes away. It was now 12:05p, s we had to hustle. As I passed the Transfer Centers, I noticed they were crowded so we just continued on to the gate arriving at 12:18p. There was quite a line to get through the security so we waited.

Once through, we approached the counter and waited until the agent had a chance to attend to us. I said hello, presented our documents and she checked us in…relief. She told us that it should be fine, just take a seat and she will call us. I did notice that there were other passengers waiting for seats as well.

We were just hanging out watching people and planes; when my colleague said, hey Woody Harrelson just popped his head into our gate area. Oh cool I said. After a few more passengers came in, there he was! I figured he was going to film a movie or something to that effect in Bucharest.

Eventually, he came through the security area, presented his boarding pass and made a beeline for the jetway.

Soon, we got our seat assignments in Business Class (europe select) and boarded.