Amsterdam/Berlin: Day 8- 19 Mar #1

I decided to try out the McDonald’s opposite my hotel for breakfast, so it was quite a surprise when I walked into the store filled with ‘Easy Order’ terminals and with no staff manning the counters. And since I’m not sure exactly how to use the newfangled system, I proceeded to the counters and a staff came to take my order. 5.95 Euros for a Egg & Bacon McMuffin and a croissant, with a bottle of orange juice and a cup of steaming java. Not too shabby.

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Have a go at the easy order terminals if you want to.
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Tastes bland? Same old same McDonald’s.

I brought the whole lot back to my hotel room so I could eat while packing. I don’t exactly have a lot of time as at that point, it was already 8am and I have a 10am EasyJet flight out of Schiphol to Berlin. The check-out process from NH was what I’ll call a fiasco, and it seriously damaged my favorable review for the hotel. First, the staff member (the very same one that checked me in) double charged me for breakfast, which I only had yesterday morning but not today. While I was getting that sorted out, the airport shuttle arrived and I requested her to hold the shuttle for a few mikes until I could get the check-out done, but she moved away and started talking on the phone and the shuttle zoomed off. She later claimed that she did not hear my instructions, though she was completely unapologetic and indifferent. Then she had to be asked twice to help call a taxi (no way I’m waiting another half an hour for the shuttle). By that point I was completely fed up, and on top of that I had to pay an extra 15 Euros for the taxi to the airport. Sigh.

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Check in at Schiphol was a rushed affair, as I was cutting it much closer to the departure time than I would’ve liked. The friendly agent at the counter somewhat lifted my gloomy mood, though I had to drop my pack through the oversized baggage area as it might’ve been too long to make some of the corners on the regular belt. Security at Schiphol was tight, including the use of full body scanners and explosives swabs on shoes.

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A 777, my favourite bird in the sky.

Once I was in airside, the boards changed to show a 15 minute delay for my flight, which is a bummer but it gave me the opportunity to browse through some of the shops.

Facts:

  • Flight: EasyJet EZY 4564
  • Route: AMS-SXF
  • Aircraft: A319-111 G-EZFB
  • Seat: 22F

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Despite the scheduled departure time of 10:00, boarding only started at 09:56, and once onboard, the captain explained via the PA that the earlier inbound delay was due to a medical emergency they had onboard at SXF, and ALSO that there was a further delay of 25 minutes due to us having missed our departure slot and partly due to airport congestion. After the 25 minutes, he came on the PA again and notified that there was another 15 minute delay due to a major emergency somewhere on AMS. I can’t really blame all of this on anyone, can I?

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The RyanAir 737 sitting beside us. They got to go first though.

At 11:13, the PA announcement finally came that we’ll be cleared to start engines in 7 minutes. True enough, at 11:20 pushback from gate H1 commenced. I have to say, taxiing at AMS is like passing an aircraft showcase. I spotted a TUI 787, a SQ A350, KLM 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787 as well as a whole bunch of other aircraft as well. Strong winds were blowing across the airport, as evidenced by a KLM 737 coming in for a shaky landing as we held short of Runway 27. And at 11:41, we’re finally wheels up and into the clouds.

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Next stop: Berlin!

A/N: With requests from some readers for more consistent postings, I’ll try to schedule posts to every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10am and 4pm GMT +8. So, 6 posts per week.

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