HOI MENSEN! As always, I was craving yet another trip to The Netherlands. Instead of staying for 2 hours for Stroopwafels, I would indeed stay 3 days and visit a friend and also see more of the country then just AMS
. Now I intended not making a trip report, but I had enough pictures to make a decent one. My apologies if there are not enough pictures and the lack of pictures from BUF
This trip report is going to consist of mainly just ORD
, my stay in The Netherlands and my return flight, AMS
I completed my work week on the 16FEB with quite a few delays on my shift. I had wanted to leave work on-time so I could get my roller bag packed and all of my other bills, responsibilities (BLAH) in order. But, as with anything in this industry, nothing is guaranteed and go figure, I had 3 diversions right at the end of my shift. Two hours late, I was heading out of the door and to the employee lot at BUF
After packing my bag, tanning (yes I do tan to go to Northern Europe in the middle of Winter), and dinner with the Mother, I had decided to settle into bed in my wonderful Apartment in the North of Buffalo and check flight loads the next day. Wouldn’t it be my luck that flights were oversold after 1000 am. Guess who was getting up very early and starting their day? ME!
After about 5 hours of sleep, I had awaken to my alarm at 0735am and decided to try my luck on the 0950am departure to Chicago O’Hare (ORD
). I had arrived at 0845am and checked in with my wonderful coworkers. After chatting for some time about what I was going to do and see whilst I was in The Netherlands, it was time to get boarding! Luckily I had managed to get on the plane by the skin of my butt!
I had arrived in Chicago at around 1100am CST. Having 7 hours in Chicago sitting around wasn’t appealing to me. I had noticed the flight from IAH
had no one listed standby for the flight and there was a wide open flight from ORD AMS
that would get me to IAH
an hour before the IAH AMS
flight. All of my coworkers were telling me not to do it since chances were great that I would get Global First out of ORD
. IAH AMS
is sCO BusinessFirst only.
Listening to my coworkers advice, I endured the 7 hours lay over. Most of my time was spent watching planes and observing the very efficient Lufthansa boarding process that my company seems to be adopting!
Here are some pictures from my lay over:
United Regional Jets!
My Favorite Concourse in ORD
Chicago O’Hare International Airport – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Nl
Departure: 1805 Arrival: 0820 18Feb
Equipment: Boeing 767-300 (3 Class sUA)
As mentioned, my co-workers convinced me to stay in Chicago since F looked great for me. However, getting close to departure, I noticed my name move down on the standby list and I may not even make it in the premium cabin. After having a bit of anxiety, I had received a phone call from my father stating that I was now a Uncle! That bit of excitement/ pure happiness eased my nerves and made me not even care about what seat I got!
After talking to my dad about my nephew and running into a flight attendant friend of mine, they had started boarding my 763 to AMS
! After 5 minutes of boarding, my name was called up to the podium and I was handed over a boarding pass for 1C, in Global First! Phew, the anxiety was over. Now it was time to relax and love life for the next few days!
Upon boarding, I was greeted by our purser, Margrit, who was an absolute charm! I had presented a box of truffles that I purchased for the crew and was given many thanks from the cabin crew. Today’s flight attendants were just wonderful, very attentive to all customers in all cabins! Another example of our wonderful staff here at United Airlines!
Upon settling in to my huge, plush Global First seat, I was immediately presented a menu for tonight’s dinner service and a Global First amenity kit. Also I was asked what I had wanted to drink to start and requested a white wine.
Pre-Departure Beverage/Bar service
More than ample leg room
Tonight’s dinner Selection
Cheese and piquillo pepper spring roll
And coconut chicken skewer with eggplant-mango chutney.
Red Rock Seafood Bisque
Tenderloin of Beef
Asiago broth, brown butter gnocchi and green asparagus.
Spice-Rubbed Breast of Chicken
Mustard Barbeque sauce, steamed rice, mixed vegetables and pickled cabbage.
Grilled Fillet of Amazon Cod
Plum Jus sauce plantains and green beans.
Cherry tomato sauce and herbed butternut squash with Parmesan cheese.
International Cheese selection
Grapes and crackers with Port.
Ice Cream with your choice of toppings and assorted petite sweets.
Prior to Arrival
Chilled Deli Selection
Brie and Swiss cheeses, Black Forest ham, Genoa Salami and Turkey.
I had selected the Chicken entrée for dinner on this flight.
Push back was 5 minutes ahead of schedule, however, do due severe turbulence over the Atlantic, we were given an alternate route that would put us into AMS
about 15 minutes behind schedule.
After a very long taxi, we were air born and on our way to Amsterdam. Once the double chime was sounded, the flight attendants sprang to life and began the wonderful service on tonight’s flight.
I was immediately offered another beverage and this time I tried the Franciscan Chardonnay. This is one of my favorite Chardonnays now! It had great citrus hints with a lovely mild oak aroma! I could not stop drinking this wine!
Warm roasted nuts
Next we were given the appetizer which tasted absolutely incredible. I had this same appetizer on my previous trip and it still did not disappoint!
After our appetizer, I was presented with the Seafood Bisque. Now usually I am not a fan of heavy cream soups, but this was PHENOMENAL!
The mixed green salad with fresh Mozzarella followed…
Finally, my main entrée was delivered to me. I had decieded on the Chicken course. The chicken was cooked tender and just right. The rice was also cooked perfectly; a hard thing to do at 35,000 feet in a convection oven!
Now most people are going to think I am absolutely crazy for this, but, I had decided again the Dessert. At this point, I was already up for about 13 hours, had a little too much wine and wanted to actually do things once I had arrived in AMS
. As soon as my tray was cleared, reclined my seat and passed out for about 4.5 hours.
I woke up to the aromas of fresh breakfast items being heated in the galley when we were over Manchester, UK. I quickly donned my headphones and turned on channel nine while hearing transmission of some airlines I rarely hear in the US such as FlyBe, RyanAir and EasyJet.
I freshened up in the Lav right before my Breakfast was given to me.
I continued to listen to Channel 9 when the flight deck switched to ATIS and noticed the active runway in use for Schiphol was runway 18R… the infamous Polderbaan/ the runway I always get the pleasure of using (except for my last trip when we actually used runway 24 or the Kaagbaan).
We quickly taxied to Pier G and docked on gate G9. This gate is equipped with new Jet bridges that do not feel like freeing cold metal tubes. Passport control was a breeze as with any airport in Europe (Much easier than my home country) and I was
met by my friends who were waiting outside baggage re-claim!
The day before, I had made reservations at the Best Western Amsterdam Airport for €50.00. The hotel reception welcomed me with a warm Dutch welcome to their hotel. I was quickly checked in and I made my way up to my room were after settling in I (reluctantly) passed out for 3 hours. After my friend Caz shook me awoke to get me going, I hoped in the shower to freshen up so we could venture into Amsterdam!
Airport hotel views are the same the world over…
We grabbed the shuttle bus back over to Schiphol to catch a train into Amsterdam. The ticket seller for NS (Nederlandse Spoorweg) was very friendly and handed over my tickets and Caz and I made our way to the platform for our train.
The train ride to the city was about 20 minutes and we arrived at Amsterdam Centraal around 1710. We walked around the city for a bit just talking, stopping every so often to admire the canals. We grabbed dinner at this lovely Italian restaurant near the
Photos from Amsterdam:
Some rally for Free Tibet.
The popular I Amsterdam sign.
My Favorite (Foreign) Airline!
After a very long dinner/ talk session, we took a very long walk back to Centraal and hoped on the last train to get us back to Schiphol in time for the last shuttle back to our hotel.
We passed out as soon as we got back in the room! We had yet another long day ahead of us the next day!
Part two will follow which includes a trip to Den Haag and Scheveningen.
Views expressed are MINE only and NOT of United Airlines, United Continental Holdings