When I was booking my flight for Rome Italy, my travel agent suggested that I get my stop over in Amsterdam instead of London. It is a very long trip from Vancouver and I would have to have a stop. She said that it was an easier airport to get around in.
She was so right. They have a quick and efficient way to transfer passengers. There are kiosks at stations were you insert your passport and it prints out an update in case there are changes in your flight time or gate. It gives you a chance to change your seat allocation if something else is available. If you have a tight connection that you think you may not make, you are given priority in the passport and baggage check line at your gate. It is a large airport so there is a fair bit of walking but very easy.
We flew KLM for the first time and it was a very nice airline, the crew was extremely patient with people, friendly and they gave out lots of beverages throughout the flight. There served meals, however; I can’t eat airline food so I took my own.
Be careful of aisle seat 27 on the Boeing 777-200 in the economy class. It had this metal box that took up half of the leg room in an already cramped space. The fights were full so there was no were to move. It was very uncomfortable on such a long haul. I was not able to stash my bag under the seat. I have a hard time putting it up and down in the overhead bin so never got anything out of it that I needed.
The second leg was with Alitalia and it was more comfortable. It was really funny when a group of Dutch people got on board and they just wouldn’t sit down even after many attempts by the stewardess to get them too. They were a friendly bunch, chatting to each other, sharing candy and opening bags…it was really funny.
I heard that Alitalia was notorious for loosing luggage but everything arrived at our destination.
It was also a big problem with so many people taking these large bags on board. They never needed anything out of them and some just squashed others belongings to fit them. It was a bit chaotic trying to get everyone seated because people insist on bringing all this stuff on board. I know they fear loss of luggage but it really is getting ridiculous. I do suggest that you pack a change of clothes, some toiletries and wear comfortable shoes just in case.
All in all I was pleased with KLM and the Amsterdam Schiphol airport and I would choose them again.
- Planes and boats and trains (shehannemoore.wordpress.com)
I love using smaller airports wherever I can too. Milan Malpensa is a particular favorite of mine. Having used Heathrow for the first time in over ten years recently, I’m definitely not in a hurry to use it again – even Charles de Gaulle is more user friendly!
Thanks for a really interesting post!
Thanks for the tip on Milan Malpensa, I will make note of that for future trips. I had a great experience with Charles de Gaulle, recently. We took a charter (flight only) from Canada and the terminal they used reminded us of the one in Puerto vallarta Mexico about 10 years ago before they enlarged. It was great!
I agree skip Heathrow if you can.
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