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So how was Amsterdam airport????

So how was Amsterdam airport????

Old Dec 25th 2011, 2:20 pm
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Default So how was Amsterdam airport????

COS I DIDNT SEE IT!!! Arrgggh always a drama flying!!!
Arrived Eureka airport monday morning bright and early for the 11am flight - NO NO NO it was CANCELLED at the last minute!!!!!!!!!!!!!! not another flight out of the area with any empty seats for DAYS!!! Totally missed San Fran to Amsterdam connection and Amsterdam to Teesside connection!!

Made dash to travel agents to try to get another flight - finally got one via JFK to heathrow!!!! NO!!!
Mad dash to San fran - by CAR - 5 hours later arrived - night in SanFran in the noisiest hotel room EVER! Room on an 8 lane freeway!! Lovely!!!

It was joyful dragging cases on the tube across london to Kings Cross at CHRISTMAS!!!!! Mad house!!!
Finally made it to the boro wed afternoon. Hmmm 3 days from west cost to north of england!!! ho hum!!!

O plus cost of change of flights as well!!!!
At least I wasnt hoying up!!!!!!! (sorry if you have just eaten xmas dinner!)
Have a wonderful christmas day one and all!!!
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Old Dec 26th 2011, 1:16 am
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Default Re: So how was Amsterdam airport????

sounds like my trip last christmas, I had my wife and 2 kids with cases and backpacks trying to get to kingscross for the train to northallerton. We had to try and get case up and down stairs and around the metal posts on the tube.
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Old Dec 26th 2011, 2:02 am
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Default Re: So how was Amsterdam airport????

Originally Posted by CAdreaming View Post
COS I DIDNT SEE IT!!! Arrgggh always a drama flying!!!
Arrived Eureka airport monday morning bright and early for the 11am flight - NO NO NO it was CANCELLED at the last minute!!!!!!!!!!!!!! not another flight out of the area with any empty seats for DAYS!!! Totally missed San Fran to Amsterdam connection and Amsterdam to Teesside connection!!

Made dash to travel agents to try to get another flight - finally got one via JFK to heathrow!!!! NO!!!
Mad dash to San fran - by CAR - 5 hours later arrived - night in SanFran in the noisiest hotel room EVER! Room on an 8 lane freeway!! Lovely!!!

It was joyful dragging cases on the tube across london to Kings Cross at CHRISTMAS!!!!! Mad house!!!
Finally made it to the boro wed afternoon. Hmmm 3 days from west cost to north of england!!! ho hum!!!

O plus cost of change of flights as well!!!!
At least I wasnt hoying up!!!!!!! (sorry if you have just eaten xmas dinner!)
Have a wonderful christmas day one and all!!!
Oh we did this last summer. I thought we were the only daft people in the whole world to undertake this little trip and live to tell the tale!
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Old Dec 26th 2011, 2:04 am
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Default Re: So how was Amsterdam airport????

Originally Posted by markaspden View Post
sounds like my trip last christmas, I had my wife and 2 kids with cases and backpacks trying to get to kingscross for the train to northallerton. We had to try and get case up and down stairs and around the metal posts on the tube.
Its not fun if you're not dragging cases and children along. Makes the journey that much more excruciating!
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Old Dec 26th 2011, 3:05 pm
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Default Re: So how was Amsterdam airport????

All that hassle to get to Kings X and onwards is exactly why I go through Amsterdam. Sorry you got messed around so much, you have my sympathies.
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Old Dec 26th 2011, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: So how was Amsterdam airport????

Originally Posted by 1chumly View Post
All that hassle to get to Kings X and onwards is exactly why I go through Amsterdam. Sorry you got messed around so much, you have my sympathies.
Thank you!!! It was a pain in the b*m!!! Lets hope the return is ok - thro Amsterdam

Teesside Airport is up for sale anyway so that might be the end of that route for me anyway! Newcastle is next best I guess.....ho hum!!!
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Old Dec 26th 2011, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: So how was Amsterdam airport????

Originally Posted by markaspden View Post
sounds like my trip last christmas, I had my wife and 2 kids with cases and backpacks trying to get to kingscross for the train to northallerton. We had to try and get case up and down stairs and around the metal posts on the tube.
I know - all the lifts were closed - grrr
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Old Dec 26th 2011, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: So how was Amsterdam airport????

Originally Posted by CAdreaming View Post
Thank you!!! It was a pain in the b*m!!! Lets hope the return is ok - thro Amsterdam

Teesside Airport is up for sale anyway so that might be the end of that route for me anyway! Newcastle is next best I guess.....ho hum!!!
Certainly wouldn't book for Teesside very far in the future
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Old Dec 27th 2011, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: So how was Amsterdam airport????

According to the Echo looks like 'Middleton St. George' has been going down hill for a while and with 6 local councils having a hand in it no wonder, the company that owns 75% has already closed Shefield and turned it into an industrial park.
http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/new...t_up_for_sale/
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Old Dec 28th 2011, 3:03 pm
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Default Re: So how was Amsterdam airport????

Originally Posted by Vimto View Post
According to the Echo looks like 'Middleton St. George' has been going down hill for a while and with 6 local councils having a hand in it no wonder, the company that owns 75% has already closed Shefield and turned it into an industrial park.
http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/new...t_up_for_sale/
Took husband to Airport this morning to catch flight to Amsterdam - at least the return journey seems ok. its such a shame to see such a nice local airport so empty
Easy check in tho
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Old Dec 29th 2011, 9:59 pm
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Default Re: So how was Amsterdam airport????

Oh boy, sorry you had such a hassle getting back. We've had a few of those in the past, including a couple of christmases ago being denied boarding because we had kids with us (long story....even longer journey) and the next year when we slept thru our connection at the Yotel in Amsterdam ...

Sorry to say, and not meaning to gloat but this year was the smoothest trip we've ever had. No traffic on the road to Houston Intercontinental. No check in line. No line at security. KLM actually managed to seat us together as a family (that is a first!). No turbulence. No sick bags needed for my youngest (another first!) Landed on time in Amdam. Took off on time. Landed on time at Teesside. All the way I was in a dreamlike state thinking this is all too easy, something is about to go wrong,or I'm about to wake up. And then it hit me on the walk in to the terminal - the bags....they've lost the bags. But no, there they were sitting waiting for us, all present and correct and lined up next to the conveyor belt. I can only assume they are going to f**k it up royally on the way back, but by then, I don't really care, so bring it on KLM, bring it on......
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Old Dec 30th 2011, 12:10 am
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Default Re: So how was Amsterdam airport????

My wife and I got stuck in Amsterdam's Schiphol airport for 2 weeks when the Iceland volcano erupted in 2010 en-route from California to Edinburgh. After my experiences I have a strong aversion to the KLM airline, their staff and most of the immigration officers at Schiphol airport for the way they handled the entire situation and will never fly with them again or go near the Netherlands in my life.

They wouldn't allow me out of the airport because I didn't have a visa for the Netherlands and I have an Indian passport which doesn't permit visa free travel. I was willing to pay for a Schengen visa (which allows EU travel) on the spot but they wouldn't even discuss the issue of a Schengen visa at the airport even though I had all the documentation necessary including proof of my residence/job in the UK, proof of funds, etc with me. I offered to purchase ferry tickets online in the internet cafe to prove that I would be out of their country in a day or two at the most. They just kept saying “It can’t be done; we don’t issue these visas at the airport”. However, 2 weeks later, they were magically able to give me a 4 day Schengen visa to let me leave the airport and get the ferry over to Newcastle from Ijmuiden.

They were willing to let my wife out of the airport on her US passport. She didn't want to go without me as she was afraid that she might get lost. There were no flights to anywhere from within the airport. The whole experience cost us £4000+. That's the only time I didn't buy travel insurance as I thought it was a waste of money since I'd never needed it before and I’ve learnt my lesson. When we finally did get out the ferry ticket prices had been hiked up to £700 per person by the company called “DFS Seaways” for a crossing from Ijmuiden to Newcastle. The tickets normally cost £70 for 2 people and a car; they were advertising on a giant billboard on Leith Walk in Edinburgh and I would pass by it every day on my way to and from work.

We also had to spend a huge amount on the two hotels located within the airport; Yotel and Mercure if I remember correctly. Their prices went through the roof because of the demand. Anyone who has stayed at the Yotel will know that their tiny cabin style rooms which barely contain the bed are definitely not worth 300 EUR a night. There were approximately 2000 people trapped in the airport; people like me who weren't allowed to leave because there were no flights and they did not have a visa for the Netherlands or they did have passports that allowed them to leave but just didn't have the money to want to leave the airport and go to a hotel.

A large number of the airport shops stopped opening after 3 days and stayed closed for the rest of the time we were trapped there so you couldn't even buy basics like toothpaste. The only place that stayed open was McDonalds (I never thought I'd say this but thank goodness for McDonalds) which wasn’t very healthy considering I had to live on their food for about 2 weeks. I almost felt like I had made my own “Supersize Me” documentary, but without the benefit of being paid for it.

KLM started handing out plane food on the 4th day for free but you had to stand 2 hours in a queue to get some. People were getting aggressive about the food queue with some people queuing multiple times as the quantity was limited and they would only give you a small box each time you got to the front of the queue. You even had people willing to fight you if you tried to tell them that it was a queue and that they should join at the back. Everyone was very territorial with the airport seats which had become their temporary homes.

I started feeling ill after the first week and developed a fever and couldn't even buy medication or see a doctor. Any plea to the Dutch authorities and KLM fell on deaf ears, they couldn't care less, I'm sure they enjoyed their showers and warm beds when they went home. Turned out I had developed a throat infection and I needed antibiotics when I eventually got back to the UK and visited my GP. I told my GP that I wasn't able to take anything to reduce the fever because of the situation we had been in and she said that was actually dangerous as you have fits, etc if the fever gets too high.

KLM refused to give passengers their baggage for “security reasons” so we just had our hand-luggage which didn't have any clothes. We were forced to wear the same set of clothes for 2 weeks! My wife and I would hand wash the only set of clothes we had in the hotel sink (when we could actually get a room in one of the overpriced hotels in the airport). We didn’t have detergent and couldn’t buy any so we just had to use the tiny bars of soap that aren’t even complementary (they actually sell the tiny bars of soap for around 1.25 EUR each which is just cheap when you are paying 300 EUR a night).

The Dutch authorities even brought in soldiers (or maybe they were special police) with machine guns to guard the airport exits and patrol the airport from day 5. I'm not sure what the purpose was but it seemed a bit overkill. They set up barriers within the airport and close off large sections guarded by the machine gun toting soldiers.

I understand that the country has its immigration laws, but a bit of common sense would probably help in an emergency situation. I wonder if they would have let us burn to death in the airport if there was a fire or if that would have prompted them to respond with an ounce of human decency.

Last edited by CAProgrammer; Dec 30th 2011 at 12:15 am.
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Old Dec 30th 2011, 9:41 am
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Default Re: So how was Amsterdam airport????

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad View Post
Oh boy, sorry you had such a hassle getting back. We've had a few of those in the past, including a couple of christmases ago being denied boarding because we had kids with us (long story....even longer journey) and the next year when we slept thru our connection at the Yotel in Amsterdam ...

Sorry to say, and not meaning to gloat but this year was the smoothest trip we've ever had. No traffic on the road to Houston Intercontinental. No check in line. No line at security. KLM actually managed to seat us together as a family (that is a first!). No turbulence. No sick bags needed for my youngest (another first!) Landed on time in Amdam. Took off on time. Landed on time at Teesside. All the way I was in a dreamlike state thinking this is all too easy, something is about to go wrong,or I'm about to wake up. And then it hit me on the walk in to the terminal - the bags....they've lost the bags. But no, there they were sitting waiting for us, all present and correct and lined up next to the conveyor belt. I can only assume they are going to f**k it up royally on the way back, but by then, I don't really care, so bring it on KLM, bring it on......
Im really glad that you had a great journey - especially with kids. When it works it works well! Must say this was really the first time in 3 or so years of going back and forth that it has been so bad - and it wasnt KLMs fault cos the first leg was on United.
Hubby had a good journey back from T/side to SFO via Amdam so fingers crossed for me on 13 Jan (which is a friday - Oh NO )
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Old Dec 30th 2011, 9:49 am
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Default Re: So how was Amsterdam airport????

Originally Posted by CAProgrammer View Post
My wife and I got stuck in Amsterdam's Schiphol airport for 2 weeks when the Iceland volcano erupted in 2010 en-route from California to Edinburgh. After my experiences I have a strong aversion to the KLM airline, their staff and most of the immigration officers at Schiphol airport for the way they handled the entire situation and will never fly with them again or go near the Netherlands in my life.

They wouldn't allow me out of the airport because I didn't have a visa for the Netherlands and I have an Indian passport which doesn't permit visa free travel. I was willing to pay for a Schengen visa (which allows EU travel) on the spot but they wouldn't even discuss the issue of a Schengen visa at the airport even though I had all the documentation necessary including proof of my residence/job in the UK, proof of funds, etc with me. I offered to purchase ferry tickets online in the internet cafe to prove that I would be out of their country in a day or two at the most. They just kept saying “It can’t be done; we don’t issue these visas at the airport”. However, 2 weeks later, they were magically able to give me a 4 day Schengen visa to let me leave the airport and get the ferry over to Newcastle from Ijmuiden.

They were willing to let my wife out of the airport on her US passport. She didn't want to go without me as she was afraid that she might get lost. There were no flights to anywhere from within the airport. The whole experience cost us £4000+. That's the only time I didn't buy travel insurance as I thought it was a waste of money since I'd never needed it before and I’ve learnt my lesson. When we finally did get out the ferry ticket prices had been hiked up to £700 per person by the company called “DFS Seaways” for a crossing from Ijmuiden to Newcastle. The tickets normally cost £70 for 2 people and a car; they were advertising on a giant billboard on Leith Walk in Edinburgh and I would pass by it every day on my way to and from work.

We also had to spend a huge amount on the two hotels located within the airport; Yotel and Mercure if I remember correctly. Their prices went through the roof because of the demand. Anyone who has stayed at the Yotel will know that their tiny cabin style rooms which barely contain the bed are definitely not worth 300 EUR a night. There were approximately 2000 people trapped in the airport; people like me who weren't allowed to leave because there were no flights and they did not have a visa for the Netherlands or they did have passports that allowed them to leave but just didn't have the money to want to leave the airport and go to a hotel.

A large number of the airport shops stopped opening after 3 days and stayed closed for the rest of the time we were trapped there so you couldn't even buy basics like toothpaste. The only place that stayed open was McDonalds (I never thought I'd say this but thank goodness for McDonalds) which wasn’t very healthy considering I had to live on their food for about 2 weeks. I almost felt like I had made my own “Supersize Me” documentary, but without the benefit of being paid for it.

KLM started handing out plane food on the 4th day for free but you had to stand 2 hours in a queue to get some. People were getting aggressive about the food queue with some people queuing multiple times as the quantity was limited and they would only give you a small box each time you got to the front of the queue. You even had people willing to fight you if you tried to tell them that it was a queue and that they should join at the back. Everyone was very territorial with the airport seats which had become their temporary homes.

I started feeling ill after the first week and developed a fever and couldn't even buy medication or see a doctor. Any plea to the Dutch authorities and KLM fell on deaf ears, they couldn't care less, I'm sure they enjoyed their showers and warm beds when they went home. Turned out I had developed a throat infection and I needed antibiotics when I eventually got back to the UK and visited my GP. I told my GP that I wasn't able to take anything to reduce the fever because of the situation we had been in and she said that was actually dangerous as you have fits, etc if the fever gets too high.

KLM refused to give passengers their baggage for “security reasons” so we just had our hand-luggage which didn't have any clothes. We were forced to wear the same set of clothes for 2 weeks! My wife and I would hand wash the only set of clothes we had in the hotel sink (when we could actually get a room in one of the overpriced hotels in the airport). We didn’t have detergent and couldn’t buy any so we just had to use the tiny bars of soap that aren’t even complementary (they actually sell the tiny bars of soap for around 1.25 EUR each which is just cheap when you are paying 300 EUR a night).

The Dutch authorities even brought in soldiers (or maybe they were special police) with machine guns to guard the airport exits and patrol the airport from day 5. I'm not sure what the purpose was but it seemed a bit overkill. They set up barriers within the airport and close off large sections guarded by the machine gun toting soldiers.

I understand that the country has its immigration laws, but a bit of common sense would probably help in an emergency situation. I wonder if they would have let us burn to death in the airport if there was a fire or if that would have prompted them to respond with an ounce of human decency.
O Goodness this has to be the worse travel story!!! How awful for you - makes mine seem like a walk inthe park. 2 WEEKS at Schiphol with no clothes and not allowed to leave!!! Arrrggghhh and no travel insurance!!! I really feel for you. I normally just get medical insurance when i come to the UK but this time we took out full travel insurance as well - Im going to claim as i had to pay extra to change flights, gas down to SF and train fares but not sure I will have much luck. Good luck with any future travels
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Old Dec 30th 2011, 11:03 am
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Default Re: So how was Amsterdam airport????

Originally Posted by CAdreaming View Post
O Goodness this has to be the worse travel story!!! How awful for you - makes mine seem like a walk inthe park. 2 WEEKS at Schiphol with no clothes and not allowed to leave!!! Arrrggghhh and no travel insurance!!! I really feel for you. I normally just get medical insurance when i come to the UK but this time we took out full travel insurance as well - Im going to claim as i had to pay extra to change flights, gas down to SF and train fares but not sure I will have much luck. Good luck with any future travels
Good idea to take out full travel insurance. Our whole ordeal took place a little after we got married when my USC wife was first moving to the UK so now that enough time has passed to heal the financial wounds we jokingly refer to that whole episode as "our honeymoon in Schipol"
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