KLMyank
Topic Author
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 6:39 am

Dutch Internal Flight! VG GRQ-AMS

Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:34 pm

My company asked me to go to Arizona for 3 weeks in December, but I decided to leave 10 days early and do a whistle stop tour of the US. First to my parents in Sarasota for thanksgiving, then to San Francisco for a week of Christmas shopping and general debauchery, then down to PHX for work.
Living up in the North of the Netherlands, it is normally a 2.5 hour train ride from Groningen centraal to Schiphol. VLM recently started flying a F50 service GRQ-AMS-LCY every day. It is well marketed to LCY, but the AMS leg is available. The fare one way is 60 Euros, which compared to the train at 42.50, plus 20 euros taxi fare, which makes it about the same (my company campus is on GRQ, which makes parking free at the airport for me).
I was actually a bit stressed, as no e-ticket arrived when I booked the flight, only a booking code. When I dragged into Groningen-Eelde at 0610, there were about 7 people sitting around in the coffee shop, and no line. Approaching the desk, the cheerful VLM contractor grabbed a paper ticket from a pile behind the desk, pre-printed with my details. No charge for this, as apparently GRQ is not an e-ticket destination yet. Check in took about 5 seconds, and with a wink and a nod, the agent waived the excess luggage fee as I was connecting to an international flight in AMS. Sadly, she could not interline the luggage, as this was not the policy of VLM. Shame!
As i left the desk, an officer of the Dutch paramilitary police approached me with a plastic bag. I had already diligently packed everything necessary in a plastic bag to be inspected, but this ape refused to believe me and demanded to inspect it. Sighing at the lunacy of it, I set down my carry on, pulled out my zip loc, showed it to the kind gentleman, and then stalked off to security. This also took about 5 seconds, as did passport. Even though I was flying internally, the whole flight is treated as non-schengen due to the LCY connection. The flight was called promptly at 0630, and all 13 passengers walked across the foggy apron and boarded the Fokker 50, dubbed "Groningen". How appropriate!
Business class was totally empty, and we were all jammed in the back, presumably for mass and balance. We were all strapped in at 0640, with an STD of 0655. We waited 10 minutes for 2 missing pax, but 5 minutes early we started up and taxied to 23. Flight time was estimated at 25 minutes. A very powerful takeoff from 23 took us to a cruising altitude of FL80, following the PAM 1D SID. Just as we levelled off, the PA told us we would be starting out decent now for AMS, as the runway had changed to 27 from 18R. Hooray!
The flight attendant never left her seat, as it took precisely 17 minutes from wheels up to wheels down. We were on stand at 0725. Beats the hell out of the long, slow train! This is where it got amusing however. The seatbelt sign came off, I stood up to get off. The guy behind me says something along the lines of "We aren't in LCY yet, sit down!". I smiled, and said "no sh**!" and got off the plane. I stopped to briefly chat to the FA and ask her to make sure my bags were offloaded in AMS, and not carried on the LCY. She passed the message to the ramper, and I saw them coming out of the hold as I walked into the Terminal. I was the only AMS pax, the other 12 were continuing on the LCY, and the flight was also filled up with pax joining at AMS.
Now from the strange, to the truly bizarre. As this is treated as a non-schengen flight, I had to land myself back in the NL at passport, which gave the officer some amusement "gone for an hour eh?" then when I got to baggage claim, I had one belt for myself, with only my 2 bags on it. Good service. Then, of course, the Dutch Customs. "Where are you coming from?"
Me: "Eelde"
them: "Anything to declare?"
Me: "I wasn't aware there were inter-provincial trade limits"
them: confused silence.
They in the end saw my EU tags, and grudgingly let me go. I was through AMS, with luggage, in 9 minutes...a new record. I wandered upstairs to departures 2 to catch my KLM flight to ATL (covered in the next report)
{Sorry for the lack of pics, but the wife was flying to SXM for the first time and wanted to shoot some pics of her approach, so she stole the camera. Gr.}
 
KLM685
Posts: 1506
Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 12:41 pm

RE: Dutch Internal Flight! VG GRQ-AMS

Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:42 pm

Good Trip report, let's hope your wife makes a hell of a trip report in order to compensate those lost pictures from all your trips  Wink

Quoting KLMyank (Thread starter):
Me: "I wasn't aware there were inter-provincial trade limits"

LOL

Quoting KLMyank (Thread starter):
The guy behind me says something along the lines of "We aren't in LCY yet, sit down!". I smiled, and said "no sh**!" and got off the plane.

That wouldn't have ended with a smile i suppose!

Cheers!
KLM- The Best Airline in the World!
 
ronglimeng
Posts: 562
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:12 pm

RE: Dutch Internal Flight! VG GRQ-AMS

Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:58 pm

I really enjoyed reading your report of the short flight between Groningen and Schipol. I know from a bicycle tour I took in 1985 that the Netherlands is a small country...but it is not that small!

I liked your use of dialogue in the reporting of your interactions with people..

Quoting KLMyank (Thread starter):
Me: "I wasn't aware there were inter-provincial trade limits"

I think this kind of semi-sarcastic repartee might be typically Dutch, or is it just you?

Merry Christmas.
 
LXM83
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RE: Dutch Internal Flight! VG GRQ-AMS

Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:19 pm

Thanks for the report on this rather strange leg. Ever since I noticed it in Amadeus a couple of weeks ago, I had wondered about it and whether it would be possible to just use it for AMS-GRQ or vv. It's rather disappointing that they do not interline, there would maybe be some potential for connections via AMS to/from GRQ.
 
SNATH
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:23 am

RE: Dutch Internal Flight! VG GRQ-AMS

Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:36 am

Hey, very amusing trip report! Thanks for sharing!  bigthumbsup 

It reminded me of the times I did GLA-EDI in the early 90s, which is actually half the distance of AMS-GRQ! Good old Sabena served both GLA and EDI from BRU with a single flight, so to do GLA to BRU you first had to first stop at EDI! It was actually very cool, as the 146 would fly low and we'd get a nice view of the landscape. Ah, those were the days...

Cheers!

Tony
Nikon: we don't want more pixels, we want better pixels.
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Dutch Internal Flight! VG GRQ-AMS

Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:30 am

Very interesting to read about this quite new flight of VLM. So there is no service at all on this very short service? No small sandwich or cake and I presume all pax have to wait for their 'breakfast' once until airborne ex AMS onto LCY? Although you're treated as international flying passenger, the whole 'relaxed' atmosphere of a small airport like GRQ is still perfect when you compare that to the bigger airports with the long queues for security and checkin.

ciao
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
KLMyank
Topic Author
Posts: 168
Joined: Mon May 03, 2004 6:39 am

RE: Dutch Internal Flight! VG GRQ-AMS

Wed Dec 20, 2006 2:02 am

Quoting Ronglimeng (Reply 2):
I think this kind of semi-sarcastic repartee might be typically Dutch, or is it just you?

Little bit of both, I suppose  Smile

Thanks for the comments all, I promise photos next time

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 5):
So there is no service at all on this very short service? No small sandwich or cake and I presume all pax have to wait for their 'breakfast' once until airborne ex AMS onto LCY?

Nothing. Once the demo was done, the FA strapped in and did not move for the whole flight.
 
bsbisland
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:45 am

RE: Dutch Internal Flight! VG GRQ-AMS

Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:30 am

What about flights to/from Eindhoven and Maastricht? Are there scheduled flights to Amsterdam and other European cities such as London or Frankfurt? Are those flights more expensive than the normal fare to AMS?
Rgs

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