Sunday, March 2, 2008
Ireland: Amsterdam to Seattle, er, make that to Minneapolis and then to Seattle (Sunday, March 2)
Written Sunday, March 2 at 1:04 pm (Minneapolis time), somewhere over the Atlantic
No such luck with a long layover in Amsterdam
We apparently made up some of the time lost on the ground during our flight We were supposed to arrive at 12:15 and we were on the ground at 1:00. Still, my flight to Seattle was to leave at 1:15. The KLM agent told me they had already booked me onto a replacement flight and sent me to the T4 transfer station. (Amsterdam has so much international traffic that they have several staffed stations set up specifically to deal with hundreds of rebookings and reroutings. In the states, you generally have to work with just your airline.)
When I got there, I had to wait for a couple people, and then the agent said if I ran I would still make my Seattle flight, but the gate was… yes, you guessed it, the furthest one from where we were. I would have to cover 2 blocks of terminal in 8 minutes, with two carry-ons. Like Hell. (The last time I tried that, for a redeye flight to Chicago a year ago, 7 of us made it – only because the flight was 15 minutes late leaving – but they had given away all but 3 of the seats, and two solo travelers snapped up two of them, leaving me and my boyfriend and a family of three with no solution.) So I walked as fast as I could manage, and an agent met me about 100 feet from the gate saying she had just turned away another traveller. Could I have made it if I had actually ran? Maybe, but I think karma would have said “No” and left me just a sweaty upset mess.
So she sent me back to the T6 transfer station. Unlike the T4 one, this one had people in line. Lots of people. It took me just under two hours to get through the line (and by then, the number of people in the line had almost doubled; poor people in the line at that point!). At which point they couldn’t find me in the system. They eventually did: I had been rebooked after all, as the original agent said, on a flight to Minneapolis and then to Seattle. Which was scheduled to leave… wait for it… 2 hours 10 minutes after my original one. Also known as “in about 10 minutes”. Also known as “if you run, you can make it.” Also known as… you guessed it, back to the same gate, the farthest one away! Argh!
So I hustled (a little running, but not much) back to gate E22, and got on. The flight was still boarding 10 minutes after it was supposed to take off. I think a bunch of people got shuttled onto it late like me. But at least I’m on the flight. Unfortunately, that also means another layover in Minneapolis before the next Seattle flight. Best guess is as much as 4 hours. I was originally supposed to be back in Seattle at 2:35 pm, now it’s going to be close to 11:30 pm.
So much for any hopes of either a pleasant Sunday or staving off reverse jetlag.
Watched Chicken Little on the flight so far. Useless waste of an animated film, almost nothing to recommend it. Will probably watch Cars and Juno, too, unless I can sleep some.
The baby on the Amsterdam flight shut up once we were finally in the air, and then started up again after we landed. This flight has one of the same sort: wailing until we were in the air, fortunately sleeping now.
Updated on January 14, 2010