I’ve begun the twenty four hour process of getting home from Europe. The “before times” of simple direct flights from one major transcontinental hub to another appears to be over for me. Regional jumpers here I come.
I switched up my return travel to America once I changed my itinerary to include Amsterdam. This made booking the long leg travel leg of my return flight modestly easier. Amsterdam is a major hub in a way that Tallinn isn’t.
But finding a path that gets me to Montana takes some doing. I will arrive arrive in America and then go on to another hub which will then get me to Montana the next morning. It will involve an overnight in an airport hotel in lucky me.
Schiphol is also the of the worst airports I’ve ever had to navigate. It was packed in every instance from checking bags to airport security lines. It had an odd habit of listing airports logos together within a shared affiliate group. So within an Alliance group so Lufthansa and United were listed together but when I got to the check in at Terminal 1 counter 1 they said I had to go to the actual United individual desk three “terminals down.” At Terminal 3 counter 26. Then United accidentally checked my bag to a wrong flight but I thankfully caught it and moved it by hand to the baggage guy.
I proceed to a mass of humanity with no extra clearance shortcuts or priority. It was a blind crowd teaming and shoving get through security. That took almost an hour and a half even with a few sneaky jumps. And it was another 20 minutes in passport control.
It was such a schlep then to my E gate from I didn’t even try to make it to the lounge for coffee as it would have hindered boarding. Mind you I arrived two and a half hours ahead of time and got to my gate with barely 10 minutes to spare on boarding.
The bright side is a couple in business class wanted to be seated together so I got moved to the L window line on the 787 Dreamliner so the end of the mad “start stop” dash of a poorly run airport was met with a fantastic seat.
There are three empty seats in business class. A friend of mine’s name was called. I wondered if it was the same guy or just a common name. Turns out it was him missing the flight. So lucky me that I made the gauntlet as others did not.