Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI

Schiphol Airport

Schiphol Airport

On August 9, 2014, Posted by , In Travelogue, By , With Comments Off on Schiphol Airport

Okay. Now today was typical.

First, the hotel never gave me my wake up call for 6:30 a.m. Luckily, I had set my phone alarm (which is still on Madison time, so that was an ordeal). Otherwise I would still be sleeping. Not good. Not good at all.

Then they overcharged me on my bill. Again, not good. It was probably the same dopey guy who was at the desk this morning.

The shuttle stopped at two other hotels, which I did not expect. The good thing is that the airport has luggage carts outside. Otherwise I don’t know how I would have managed with the three bags.

Then the fun really began. You enter the airport and there are hundreds of people going in every direction. I asked at the information desk and was told I needed to go upstairs. They are very clever. The escalator is like a ramp, so I was able to push the cart on to the escalator. Then the brake kept the heavy cart from pushing me down the ramp. Whew!

The procedure (I learned this the very hard way) is to get your boarding pass, then get in an interminable line to drop off your baggage. That probably took 30 minutes. Then, you hand your passport and boarding pass to the airport representative. This is when I learned that there was a priority check in area that I could have used. Okay, then next time.

What was fascinating is that there were many lines of people pushing their luggage, snaking around each other to get to different pairs of stewards. The airport really has quite a system! Self serve all the way.

Past her, there is a self-automated baggage check in. You scan your boarding pass then wrestle your bag into this cubicle. Well, it didn’t like how I put it in. I had it standing up, and then lying down and then gave up and called a steward over. She shoved the bag to the back of the cubicle and that worked just fine, only to discover that my bag was too heavy.

I had to wrestle it back on the luggage trolley and push it to the end of a line and redistribute luggage. Then get in another line (not long) to check in again. And again my luggage was too heavy. So I took out the first things I could grab- my toiletries case and some shoes. Fine, that worked. I was past that hurtle.

By this time, I was absolutely parched, so I got Euros using my debit card (thank goodness Jenny suggested I get one, because I only know the pin code for that card). I found some fountain Fanta and then had to get in another very long line. By the time I got to the register, I’d drunk the entire thing.

Next, race to gate F6, which must have been a half-mile away, weaving through hundreds of people. I got on line, which was incredibly long, and then noticed the check in area for priority people. As I whipped into the security area, I suddenly realized that I had my toiletries case now, with liquids. I really thought I would lose everything.

Surprisingly, they were all right. What was not all right was the paring knife I had placed into the toiletries case so I could cut apples. That was a heart stopping moment. But all they did was confiscate the knife and let me through.

So, I am now sitting in the waiting area, desperately needing a bathroom with none available. Good grief!

Hopefully, there won’t be any more adventures between the waiting room and the plane.

Til Nairobi.



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