I’m currently sitting in the bed of a hotel in Amsterdam, getting ready to go to sleep in preparation for client meetings and training that I have lined up for tomorrow. However, there was a point this evening where I thought I wouldn’t make it to Amsterdam. Due to huge storms battering Amsterdam, Schiphol airport shut down all but one runway and all flights coming into Amsterdam were being redirected to Antwerp or if they hadn’t left yet, being told to stay put. Hence I and the rest of the 18:40 KLM flight to Amsterdam stayed firmly put at gate A40 at Hamburg airport. A gate that was nowhere near anywhere playing the England v France Euro 2012 football game I might add.
By the time we got the all clear to board we were already an hour late and still were not sure if we would make it to Amsterdam or end up in Antwerp. People had already missed their connections and others were cutting it fine. Enter the asshole passenger, who was in danger of missing his connection or had already missed it (couldn’t work out which). When we boarded he refused to sit in his assigned seat and sat firmly in first class claiming because he was going to miss his connection he had a right to sit there. Fortunately the plane was not full, but the stewards were asking that everyone sat in their assigned seats for take off and then everyone could move. He ignored them. He ignored the direct request made by the steward twice until things got heated and he finally moved. Unfortunately, his seat was next to me and the lovely Italian/Spanish guy sitting next to me. We all had to get up to let him in. Then, after being told to all switch our phones off, he had his out and was surfing on Google. Being pissed off at this guy, I told him in my best German that everyone had to turn off their mobiles as it was forbidden to have them on. He replied (also in German) that you were allowed to have it switched on until the plane takes off and besides he had missed his connection. The guy actually had his mobile on and was surfing until the plane started down the runway. As soon as we were airborne, he got out of his seat, making all of us get up again and moved back to first class. The lovely Italian/Spanish guy and I didn’t seem to share a common language, but an eye roll and a deep sigh is universal, as is laughing when the asshole guy came back because he forgot this phone.
The flight after that was uneventful besides a delightful language fail by the Dutch steward who, in trying to inform passengers which connections people could still make, referred to flights as being ‘realised’. ‘We have a few flights that have been realised that you can still make your connection to’. ‘Here is a list of flights that have been realised’ etc, etc. It was just gorgeous.
On arriving at Schiphol, an airport that is chaotic at best, it was pure pandemonium with everyone rushing to make connections or gathering around information desk to find out what was going on with delayed flights. I have never been so glad that I was at my final destination and could make my way calmly to the train to Amsterdam Central and onward to my hotel.
Since my flight was delayed by over an hour, I finally reached my hotel at 9:45pm and therefore elected to have dinner at the hotel so that they didn’t think I wasn’t coming and give my room to someone else. The hotel restaurant was lovely, but it felt like a place where I didn’t belong. I spent the whole dinner expecting someone to come to me and say that I wasn’t an adult and therefore did not belong in such a fine establishment.
However, they didn’t and actually gave me a sample sized soup direct from the chef for free, served in a tiny espresso cup.
And then a lovely sirloin, salad and fries – served with both ketchup and mayonnaise (not for free unfortunately).
Now to bed after successfully being able to work out how the use the shower, hoping that all my transport – taxis, trains and planes will go smoothly tomorrow.