Tuesday, 30th of September 1997, Phoenix-Amsterdam. 

We got up at 6 and had breakfast: Coffee, toast, fried eggs and ham. James and Tabby drove us to the airport in Dolly’s car..

We arrived one hour before the departure of our flight, and we took leave of James and Tabby. There was a long line at the counter, but we managed as required to get on board the aircraft around 15 minutes before departure.
At 850 the homeward journey started, around 10 minutes delayed, but in return the flight to Minneapolis/ St. Paul in the Boeing 727 aircraft only took around 2 hours and 3 quarters, one quarter less than normally. Then we had 1 hour and 3 quarters till the next departure towards Amsterdam.

We were going to get on with a Boeing 747 from KLM. It is an huge aircraft, which can take around 400 passengers. The captain said, that because of the direction of the jet stream in the upper stratum of air there would be that much following wind over the Atlantic Ocean, that the flight time was calculated to be 7 hours, a reduction of more than one hour. As this type of aircraft because of the noise is not allowed to land in the airport of Amsterdam before 6 a. m., the departure from Minneapolis/St. Paul was postponed from 320 p. m. till  4 p. m.

Though it is a huge aircraft, the accelerationen during start is impressive. There was some turbulence over Canada, but later the flight became more steady. There were TV screens mounted in both sides of the aircraft, from our position in the rear end we could see 16 of them, but there were even more.  They showed a news broadcast from the BBC, some commercials and a movie. Once in a while a picture on the screen showed our speed, the temperature outside the plane and so on, and a map showing our present position.

We had the usual fine service consisting of drinks and peanuts, then a hot meal, which was an italian dish with tomatoes, salad and besides a small bottle of wine, and finally coffee and cake. When we were approaching Amsterdam, we had drinks and a piece of cake once more.

We landed in Amsterdam promptly at 6 a. m., and it happened so soft, that we did not feel the contact of the wheels on the ground at all. Though the time was 6 a. m., you have to consider, that our “internal clocks” were 9 hours behind, i. e. 9 p. m. the evening before. So, it had been much too early for us to sleep in the aircraft, and therefore we had no sleep that night.


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