D#mn Amsterdam!

Posted by on July 15, 2014 at 6:24 pm :: 2 Comments

Disclaimer: This post was written by JASON not RACHEL. The inclusion of complete sentences, correct spellings, proper grammar, and/or punctuations marks within its paragraphs is neither explicitly guaranteed nor implicitly suggested. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

This is the story of my travels (Jason) to Amsterdam for a business presentation and the chaos that ensued. You would except that a simple flight, with one connecting flight, couldn’t have too many problems. But oh, how you would be wrong.

To start with, I got to the airport with plenty of time but Jeremy, my coworker and trip companion, well… They wouldn’t let him check-in because his passport didn’t look like him. He had washed it at least three times and it looked horrible.

Our first flight got delayed a few times until they finally cancel it. Because we had to be in Amsterdam Wednesday morning for the presentation, the Delta reps found some flights that “should” work. These flights were heading out of SLC at 1:00 AM to JFK. We would have thirty-five minutes to connect with a Virgin Atlantic flight, which would go through the London airport. At London we would have a forty-five-minute layover to get to our KLM flight to AMS. The attendant told us that if we could make the JFK then we should be set and not to worry about the KLM flight because there would be another one thirty minutes later. Yes, yes not to worry.

I don’t really sleep well on planes, so I slept for about five minutes the entire flight to New York. Once we got to JFK, we booked it off the plane and headed right to the Virgin Atlantic flight and made it easily.

Netherlanders prepped for the World Cup

Amsterdam was all sorts of decked out for the World Cup. The entire city was decorated.

We checked in and I got a window seat. I teased Jeremy because he was assigned an aisle chair and couldn’t lean against the window; I shouldn’t have teased him because I got it worse. We got to our seats, buckled in, and the flight took off. As soon as we made it to cruising altitude, well the person in front of me decided it was time to put his seat back. These international flights have no room, my knees were already right against his chair, and he decided to put his seat back. That continued for the entire flight. When it was time to land, he finally decided to put his chair back up. I didn’t get any sleep on that flight or any work done as I could hardly move.

We landed in London and even were a few minutes early! Oh wait there was a problem; we were at the back of the plane. As soon as we got off the plane, we ran until we hit a shuttle bus location. We had made good time until this point but then we had to wait ten minutes for the bus. This shuttle bus takes ten minutes to get to the terminal. Once we got off the shuttle, we ran again because we have less than fifteen minutes before the flight took off. We ran through the terminal and what did we find? Another security checkpoint. Luckily, the person checking the passports freaked out, looked at my passport, and told us to run!

If the shoe fits?

Maybe Jeremy could run faster in some true Netherlanders shoes. BTW, look at that guy in the background. He knows we must be crazy Americans.

Unfortunately, we were still too late by two minutes. The terminal agent informed us that we wouldn’t be able to get on this plane and, since we didn’t technically have tickets but only a ticket receipt, we couldn’t get bumped to the next flight. KLM couldn’t do anything for us so we headed back to the terminal we had started out in. Delta had already headed home for the night so Virgin Atlantic offered to help us out. They got us one of the only rooms left at all the nearby airport hotels. This was a tiny room with the beds right next to each other. Jeremy and I practically slept in the same bed that night.

That night we got a good three hours of sleep before we were back to the airport trying to get onto a KLM flight to Amsterdam. Of course, they couldn’t find our tickets and they didn’t know where our luggage was, which we hadn’t seen since we left Salt Lake City. After some confusion, they at least got us tickets for the flight.

We landed in Amsterdam and ran to see if our baggage was on the plane and it was not. Heading to the baggage claim they actually somehow found Jeremy’s but they had no idea where mine was. However, since I’d only be in Amsterdam a day, they said I didn’t need to make a claim.

Next, we grabbed a taxi and headed to our hotel. The hotel was supposed to have rooms waiting for us, but they only had one when we get there, which was Jeremy’s. Since Jeremy’s room was ready, he took a shower and changed his clothes. While I just sprayed on some Axe body spray, tried to straighten out my crazy plane hair, and tucked in my shirt. Then we were off for the big preso to the customer!

We easily found the office, presented, knocked it out of the park…or we thought we had given our lack of sleep. Then we were off to relax, see a museum, and have a good dinner.

Woof, woof, barky, bark Jason!

Amsterdam has amusing things like a Parade of Dogs, an entire hallway of giant dog statues… um, ok…

That night, because of my problems, my return flight was upgraded to first class by someone who shall not be named. However, the following morning when I got to the airport, of course, there were problems. My upgrade with Delta hadn’t gone through and Delta wasn’t on shift yet. After a bit, KLM did find the first class upgrade and somehow found my luggage. Could it be because of the upgrade? In fact, they found it in their warehouse and excitedly told me not to worry, it would follow me along and I’d see it in SLC. YEAH!

Once I got on the plane there were no more problems and, let’s just say, first class international is absolutely amazing! I couldn’t believe the difference. Finally, I landed in SLC, headed through a very slow customs line, went to grab my luggage, and, once again, it wasn’t there. I headed over to the baggage claim desk and, after an hour-long lecture on when and where to make a baggage claim, I was told that I would never see my luggage again. Deflated, I headed home. A few days later my luggage did show up in Santiago, Chile. WOW! How in the world did it get there… a few days later my luggage made it home and it appeared that it had made a world tour: SLC, ATL, LHR, AMS, CDG, AMS, CDG, SCL. That’s right, Santiago’s airport code is SCL. Mystery solved. And that is the end of my amazing d#mn Amsterdam trip.

P.S. The d#mn story continued with Jeremy getting pick pocketed in a flea market in Amsterdam the day I left, losing his passport and credit card.

Jeremy feeding his beautiful pigeons so he won't be a coward.

The homeless guys thought it was great that we liked the pigeons. In fact, they gave us some bird seed and told Jeremy to not just throw the seed but to feed them out of his hand. Once they told him that pigeons can’t hurt you and that he was a coward, well, Jeremy fed the pigeons seed out of his hand. The look of disgust on his face with a big fat pigeon in his hand was priceless! I only wish I had taken a picture of it.

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