Posts Tagged ‘KLM’

(Have you read any of the old books where the chapter titles are like my post title?) While waiting to find out whether or not our daughter’s flight will eventually leave Philadelphia (some weather issues somewhere), let’s look at my thankfully not-delayed flight to France three weeks ago.

Check-in went fine, but for some reason, both my carry-on bags were pulled aside to be hand-checked.  I have no idea why and of course, they’re not about to tell me, but finally they realized that I am an innocent (wo)man (thanks, Billy Joel) and I was through, onto my wait on the other side.  I spent as much time as possible walking, as I’d be sitting for most of the six hour or so flight.  Here’s a bit of O’Hare Airport art I passed a number of times.

© janet m. webb

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Leavin’ on a jet plane

Posted: May 29, 2017 in Travel
Tags: , , , ,

It’s that time of year again, time for a trip to France and, because of that, time for a cyber break.  But you know I’ll be taking hundreds of photos that I’ll share with you when I get home, so in the meantime, those of you in my hemisphere, have a glorious spring.  For those of you in the southern half of the world, may fall be colorful.  See you in June.

© janet m. webb

The packing is done, the house clean, books returned to the library, dishes washed, dried and put away, passports, boarding passes, our few Euros all ready and the question remains: what do we do with the garbage?

All the anticipation of two weeks in France can’t overshadow the thought of the aroma of two-week-old garbage in the garage, even though in the can. Garbage pickup isn’t until Monday and it’s only Friday morning. The neighbor who will water my plants and keep an eye on the house isn’t home. There’s too much to schlepp off to the trash cans at the gas station, as I’ve cleaned the fridge of anything that might go bad. I end up leaving a message on our neighbor’s cell phone. We’ll know when we get back if he got it.

Where to wait in the international terminal in Chicago

I’m always a bit anxious before a trip of this type. Driving, to Wyoming for instance, is easy. If we forget something, we can always get another at Target or Walmart. No one checks to see if the numbers I carefully entered, then checked and rechecked, online actually match those on our passports and we can take as much luggage as the van will hold. This year for France, we have a new credit card with a chip, something standard in Europe but not yet in the State, that’s supposed to work for tolls and gas. It is, as yet, untested.  What if it doesn’t work?

On-board and ready to go

On-board and ready to go

Since our favorite airline, Southwest, doesn’t fly to Europe, I’ve decided on KLM, best price with least layover times in Amsterdam. The plane is a behemoth, the top of the size line for them, with three seats on either side and five in the middle. Luckily, it isn’t full and after takeoff, we’re able to have a row of three seats for the two of us. The service is excellent and although my order for special meals didn’t make it through (probably didn’t order it early enough), the food is good as well, although slightly heavy on the cheese. It’s a Scandinavian airline after all. Once in the evening and once in the morning, the flight attendants offer a moist, heated, heavy-duty napkin to clean face and/or hands. Drinks, including beer and wine, are free and after dinner, they also offer Cognac and Armagnac.  I decline the alcohol in order to try to sleep better.

Our breakfast box

Our breakfast box

Each little screen offers an enormous choice of movies, TV, music and more. I have my Kindle and I’m trying to get as much sleep/rest as possible, so I’m not interested, but Bill falls prey to the lure of the movies for most of the night. There’s a very young boy who shrieks off and on most of the trip, first with excitement, later from tiredness. He finally falls asleep not long before the morning service begins as we approach Amsterdam.

We have several hours in Schiphol Airport and we get in a lengthy walk going from our incoming gate to the tiny gate where we connect with our flight to Basel. Going through customs is nothing but we unexpectedly have to go through security again and I forget that I have a small, filled water bottle from the meal on the plane. My tray of items is set aside and sits for quite awhile while the man in front of me tries to keep some little ceramic buildings that I find out later contain alcohol. He was told he could keep them but found out he was wrong. Finally another man comes, I admit to forgetting the water bottle, it’s out and we’re on our way. We wait for our next flight with a number of older Americans who are all headed to Basel for river tours.

Sculpture at Schiphol Airport

Sculpture at Schiphol Airport

Our connecting plane is the second smallest in the KLM plane stable, but has bigger seats (only two per side) and more leg room than our jumbo jet, although with less overhead space. It’s also not full and in the less-than-an-hour trip, we get a snack (salty or sweet) and again a choice of drinks. This time I choose red wine to go with my delicious English crisps (aka potato chips in the States) and crib another later. They were small! The wine is quite good, a Cab-Shiraz mix from South Africa.

Mural at Schiphol Airport

Mural at Schiphol Airport

We arrive in Basel, leave through the Swiss side of the airport (there’s also a French exit in the very small airport) and are met by our brother-in-law, our GPS for the trip to the house. Bill signs the papers for the rental car and we’re off, ready to enjoy our vacation.