Sunday, May 04, 2008

Eindhoven Netherlands: Arriving in Houston, TX (IAH) from Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS)

04MAY08 Houston Intercontinental, Houston TX (IAH)

We touched down on runway 26L just before 5:00 p.m. and headed for Terminal E. The Emirates flight was the only one at Terminal D at this time as we taxied by.

The Emirates (EK) Boeing 777-200ER at the gate in Terminal D.

An unusual sight at Terminal D; a Continental Boeing 777-200ER, I guess Terminal E was full.

As we blocked in at Terminal E, I got my stuff together and headed for the Immigration area. The Immigration guy asked me why I was out of the country for one day, I told him I needed a beer.

Once I cleared Customs, I then headed over to Terminal C by taking the slow train. Since the bus was not going to arrive for another 30 minutes, I plugged in just inside of the Baggage Claim waiting area and caught up for a bit and then proceeded to the bus stop.

It was unusual as there were a lot of people heading downtown with at least one piece of luggage. Of course the driver did not advise us to place our bags in the hold below as the CEO of Metro told me when I talked to him on their blog a few weeks back. Instead, we placed them on the seat or between the two seats. Luckily the bus was not full.

Finally, we headed downtown.

Eindhoven Netherlands: Leaving Amsterdam Schipol International, Amsterdam Netherlands (AMS)

04May08 Amsterdam Schipol International, Amsterdam Netherlands (AMS)

It was 1:17p when the train pulled into Schipol. I alighted and made a beeline for the Flight Information Displays. I had to make sure the flight to Houston, TX was still ontime. Of course it was. I needed to get to the airplane store to get a book, but I had no time.

I raced up the moving walkway and through the airport agents asking for a boarding pass. I started to take it out and just continued as they were really wasting my time. I had the boarding pass and passport ready for the Immigration agent. I cleared there with a stamp from the Officer and proceeded to Concourse F.

Schipol gets really empty in the afternoon, so it was not an issue to get to the gate efficiently.

Once there, I cleared security as my name was being called for a seat. I then paid my departure taxes of 38 USD or 25 EUR, then got my aisle seat assignment and boarded (actually, I paid $40 as I had no change and was $2 short. I told the guy that next time he will owe me $2 and he said he would remember me). I asked if it was the bulkhead and it was, but the agent told me that the flight was open and that there were two other seats located further forwarded that were still open. It was 1:31p when I boarded the aircraft to Houston, TX.

Eindhoven Netherlands: Leaving Eindhoven

05MAY08 Eindhoven, Netherlands

I had not decided whether or not I’d go to London, Bristol or back to Houston so I just let it all play put naturally. I figure I would try to get back to Schipol for the Houston flight at 1:55p, but if for some reason I did not make it, I would go to London Heathrow and take the 4:00p flight to Newark Liberty (EWR), then the last flight into Houston. This option would make for a very long day. Alternatively, I could just stay in London or still get to Bristol.

One other thought was to fly out of Eindhoven airport (EIN), but I had already logged it so I decided against doing that.

I ensured that I checked in online and a rarity for me, I printed my boarding pass. This way, I could make my way down to the gate since I figured I would arrive at Schipol within an hour of my scheduled departure time.

After having breakfast, I got on the 11:47a train to Schipol which would arrive at 1:15p, just in time for the 1:55p flight to Houston, TX.