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We’ve seen our share of airport art installations, and it’s fair to say that some are great and some are — well, less than great. Here's one that falls in the extremely rare greater-than-great category. Although what makes this art unique — besides that it actually covers acres and acres of property outside of the airport — is that it also serves a surprising function.
Amsterdam artist — and, we can only, assume awesome gardener — Paul de Kort has designed a pretty good looking 81-acre park next to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. But you won't find picnic tables or park benches here. The folks at Gizmodo have the full scoop (and plenty of pictures), but basically de Kort created green space that greatly reduced the noise of all those planes coming and going. Ridges in the ground, set a certain distance apart, mimic the wavelength of airport noise — and as a result, they've cut the noise pollution basically in half.
So the next time you’re coming or going through AMS and look out the window you’ll know the importance of all those ridges on the ground. Not only do they look cool, but they're a fix for (noise) pollution. Talk about going green.
[Photo: Paul de Kort via Gizmodo]
Traveling with Children / KLM / Airline News / Airlines / AMS / 747 / Cartoon Travel / Videos / → All Tags
Flying long distances with children isn't exactly the easiest thing, and parents often struggle to figure out how to entertain a child for many, many hours of sitting in a seat. Add to this the fact that the child may be a little scared of flying, with no idea of what to expect, and you have a stressful situation.
KLM understands, and has actually made an effort to help by introducing a new animated film, aimed at the littlest flyers, to both entertain and educate. The star: "Bluey," an excitable and adorable 747 plane who uses his jet speed and compassion to help a friend. Apparently the character has existed since November, with branded kids products, "ranging from keycords, trolleys and card games, to a fun Bluey meal box for children on international flights."
Although Bluey is designed to entertain children on planes, we enjoyed watching his first animated short ourselves and would watch an entire series of such cartoon adventures featuring Bluey. Catch him on KLM's YouTube (embedded below) and, from June, on KLM's intercontinental flights as part of the in-flight entertainment.
Travel Contests / KLM / MD-11 / Aviation / AvGeek / AMS / Airplanes / Airbnb / Hotels / → All Tags
If you only do one thing today, let it be entering KLM's ingenious contest to travel to Amsterdam and have a sleepover inside their recently retired MD-11 airplane.
From now through November 20, KLM is asking all fans of the three-holer aircraft to book it for an overnight stay, as they've cleared out all the typical airplane seats in favor of cozy apartment-style furnishings.
The "Airplane Apartment" sports a master bedroom with king-size bed, a second bedroom with two beds, kitchen, living area, 8 bathrooms, WiFi, a cockpit, and 116 windows. There'll be one winner for each of the three nights, and each winner may bring up to three friends/family along for a total occupancy of 4 people in the Airplane Apartment. But wait, there's more! Winners will also receive international roundtrip flights on KLM to reach Amsterdam, and a 500 EUR Airbnb gift card.
Travel Contests / KLM / MD-11 / Aviation / AvGeek / AMS / Airplanes / → All Tags
When we talk about exciting, historical flights we typically talk about inaugurals. First flights are celebrated for a reason; they are a promise of travel to come and often a demonstration of the growth of a community or the prowess of new technology. Why, then, shouldn't we also celebrate the end of a service, after an airplane has delivered on its promise?
KLM agrees, and they're now holding a contest for one lucky AvGeek to join the final flight of their MD-11 on November 11.
KLM has been flying the three-holers since 1993, and will retire them from the fleet next month.
Cute Travel / Videos / KLM / AMS / Amsterdam Travel / Airports / Airport News / Airlines / Airline News / Dog Travel / Animals / → All Tags
Do you like doggies?
What about traveling to Europe?
And you appreciate having lost items returned to you, right?
If you've answered a hearty "yes" to the questions above, then the video below was meant for you. It highlights the newest customer service innovation at KLM: an adorable dog named Sherlock with the ability to sniff out items forgotten on planes to reunite them with their rightful owners within the confines of Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport.
That's pretty much all there is to it, since the magic is really in the beautiful film. Enjoy, but do so knowing that was a one-time thing, and Sherlock isn't going to be a permanent member of KLM's team. For your real lost & found queries, there's always KLM's 130 social media agents ready to help.
Travel Photography / Airline Blogs / KLM / AMS / Amsterdam Travel / Tourists / Citizens of the Airport / Humans of New York / Facebook / → All Tags
Humans of New York, the photography project with nearly 10 million Facebook fans, 1.6 million Instagram followers, and a bestselling book, went international this season. The man behind HONY, Brandon Stanton, headed out with UNICEF on a 50-day trip through 10 countries, designed to apply his style to a broader (and certainly more war-torn) base.
HONY also has another current international connection, as KLM has been inspired enough to adapt the Humans of New York style in the creation of their "Citizens of the Airport" (COTA) series. Through portraits and small interviews, the airline gets up close with individual travelers at Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport to learn a little of their life around each particular journey.
Music Travel / British Airways / Spotify / Travel Songs / BCN / AMS / NAP / EDI / MLA / Airline News / → All Tags
Last month, we opened up our own iTunes playlists to share favorite travel songs we listen to when on the road. Now, British Airways and Spotify have followed suit to deliver songs that make you dream of different destinations.
Creating the ultimate soundtrack for travel to a range of BA cities is now a snap for UK-based customers of the music streaming service, Spotify. For starters, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Naples, Edinburgh and Valletta, Malta now feature their own British Airways-curated playlists. Traditional and local tunes are served up directly to your device to jam along to on your journey.
Photo Gallery / KLM / Business Class Travel / Amsterdam Travel / 747 / Boeing / Seats / In-Flight Comfort / Design Travel / AMS / Netherlands Travel / → All Tags
The Dutch are good at many thingsmaking cheese and growing tulips would be traditional examples, but a much more modern one is their ability to provide a good lay.
Wait a second. We’re not talking about Amsterdam’s infamous red light district; shift focus across the city to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and the KLM aircraft buzzing around it, where passengers are now enjoying a good lay…all the way back in lie-flat seats. It’s here you’ll find the current palette for Dutch talent, in the features and service of KLM’s brand new World Business Class.
Where once buying a Business Class ticket on KLM meant reclining just enough for a comfortable nap, it’s now all about the lie-flat bed and a proper snooze. In fact, some 70% of business class used to be awake for the full, hot breakfast before arrival; the new seats mean more sleeping in, however, and the uptake on breakfast is down to 20%. We’re living proof of this; we drooled in deep sleep and awoke to the farmland of Holland, with only enough time before landing to scarf down a cinnamon roll.
Om Nom Nom / Amazing Airline Meals / Airline Meals / In-Flight Meals / Food Travel / KLM / Business Class Travel / AMS / → All Tags
We have all had a terrible meal on a flight before. In fact, we have shown you some of the sadder trays slid in front of us. With this new series of amazing airline meals, we can revel in the airline culinary delights and give kudos to the airlines that got it right.
The months of October and November are very special in KLM World Business Class on intercontinental flights from Amsterdam. It's now that, for the past four years, the airline has celebrated the "From Holland Festival," a time of hyper-local onboard offerings to highlight Dutch heritage and specialties.
It's thanks to this festival that, on our KLM flight from Amsterdam to JFK last week, we ate the best beef entree we've ever had on a plane. It was tender, flavorful and not gray! It's no wonder, too, since the "braised beef accompanied by potato mousseline with onions, carrots, green asparagus and mushrooms" is a dish by Onno Kokmeijer, Executive Chef of Ciel Bleu restaurant (with two Michelin stars!) at The Hotel Okura Amsterdam.
Business Class Travel / KLM / Amsterdam Travel / The Little Things / AMS / Souvenirs / Booze Travel / → All Tags
In the midst of the bustle of travel, it's all too easy to overlook the details. We're talking about special touches others have stressed over just so you can enjoy a unique experience, whether you know it or not. Every so often we'll highlight The Little Things like this, so now you will know.
The Little Thing: Business Class passengers on KLM are given collectible miniature Delft blue houses.
It used to be that taking an international flight meant receiving gifts of complimentary playing cards, stationery (for composing all those mid-flight telegrams), and other niceties to pass the time. These days, even passengers paying top dollar to fly in First Class are lucky to enjoy a minimal amenity kit and an extra flute of champagne. One exception is KLM, who continue a 60+ year tradition of handing out special ceramic mini Delft houses to their Business Class passengers.
Holland Travel / Holland / Amsterdam Travel / Amsterdam / AMS / Travel Advertising / Tourism Boards / → All Tags
The tourism board responsible for getting you to spend your money on Holland travel undoubtedly has a lot of options. There's food, and shopping, and music, and fashion, and culture, and sex, and drugs, and sex, and sex. In an era where all targeting is micro-targeting, how's anyone responsible for travel advertising supposed to drill down into just one topic?
The answer is you don't. As New York's Mustache Agency realized - while working with a host of Dutch institutions familiar to Jaunted readers, including KLM and the Amsterdam Airport - is that you take a bunch of them and wrap them up into one complete package. Thus did the agency arrive at one of the most basic but effective messages in the history of advertising: Holland is cool, and if you go to Holland, you'll be cool too.
Layovers / Airports / Airport News / SIN / IST / ICN / AMS / BKK / Free Stuff / Travel Tips / Lists / → All Tags
Hanging out in Amsterdam
A 6+ hour layover sure sounds like guaranteed misery, right? Wrong, if you're between flights at one of the several international airports that offer city tours for passengers in transit.
Some airports provide these tours absolutely free as a way to promote tourism, but all require that you clear immigration and customs in order to take them.
So before you settle down for a 10-hour boredfest on a bench near an airport Sbarro, try out one of the transit tours at these six airports: