Sunday, November 02, 2008

amsterdam/london: Amsterdam schipol International, Amsterdam Netherlands (AMS) to London-Heathrow International, London England (LHR)

BA431 2NOV08 Amsterdam schipol International, Amsterdam Netherlands (AMS) to London-Heathrow International, London England (LHR) 11:40a 12:10p 321 G-EUXC

Flight Time: 0:45
Seat Map [No seat map for the Airbus A321, but here is a link to the other Euro Traveller planes]

At the aircraft door, she presented me to the flight crew and advised them that she had to write my seat number on the boarding pass. I waited to move down the aisle as there was a line.

The first four rows of the aircraft is called the Club Europe section in a 2-3 configuration. I always wonder about that though. It must suck for the guy who gets the middle seat. Although I've been that guy a few times.

I made my way to my seat in Economy class with its 3-3 leather seat configuration and eventually found a place for my bag. I was actually behind the guy who was at the aisle seat, so I waited for him to get his stuff settled before taking my seat.

The Captain came on the PA and said good morning and introduced his crew. He also gave us the weather report for London and it did not include any rain. Although it was cloudy and cold. He anticipated no delays and said that we would pushback shortly.

Sure enough we did at 11:40a. Some passengers were still getting seated. The manual safety demo commenced as the engines started and we made our way out to the runway. There was a Suriname Airways Boeing 747-300 ahead of us as well as an easyJet Boeing 737-300. it was amazing to see the effect of the engines of the Boeing 747-300 on the water on the runway; quite spectacular. This was the same jet I had seen at the gate when I arrived the previous day.

It was now our turn, and we took to the air very quickly.

Almost immediately after takeoff, the flight attendant said welcome and explained the service. Soon, a ham and double cheese sandwich was presented, but vegetarian (cheese) was also available. You could also get whatever beverage you wanted.

I read the High Life magazine as well as the inflight magazine, plus the Wall Street Journal Europe that I'd picked up at the gate. I then read the e-mails I had downloaded in the KLM Crown Lounge. I wanted to write some more, but the guy next to me kept reading my stuff, so I closed the laptop in disgust and dozed off.

I awoke to get my seat ready for landing, but went back to sleep again.

amsterdam/london: arriving in London-Heathrow (LHR) from Amsterdam Schipol International, Amsterdam Netherlands (AMS)

2NOV08 London-Heathrow International, London England (LHR)

We touched down smoothly although I awoke as the rhythm was different. It was a short taxi to Terminal 5 where I disembarked momentarily.

This terminal is really nice and quite large. There is a huge area for Flight Connections for Terminal 5 as well as a UK Border control area.

I made my way to the IRIS automated Immigration barrier and waited. There was a guy in front of me who had issues with the machine, so it caused the queue to back up with about three persons ahead of me. Two decided to use a different method as the line were not too long. The lady at the head of the queue tried and it worked almost instantly for her. The guy tried again and then it worked. I tried and after two tries it worked properly.

I then made my way downstairs to the Baggage Re-claim area and exited thorough the EU Arrivals Exit. I followed the signs to the Underground, but somehow missed the actual sign pointing it out. I backtracked and saw it, then took the escalators down to it.

By 12:14a, I was on the way to Central London.

amsterdam/london: arriving in Amsterdam Schipol International, Amsterdam Netherlands (AMS) from Central Amsterdam

2NOV08 Amsterdam schipol International, Amsterdam Netherlands (AMS)

I arrived at 9:59a and made my way to the Flight Information Displays. I checked and the next flight for London Heathrow was leaving at 10:40a on British Airways from D8. I made my way to Terminal 3, checked in for the 11:40a departure, thinking that I can get to the gate and get on the earlier flight.

The Immigration lines were quite lengthy in Terminal 3, so I headed to Terminal 2 where the line was not long at all. A few moments later, I made it to D8, cleared security, checked with the agent, but was advised that the flight was closed. Bummer.

I did think of trying for the bmi flight at 11:45a, but there was no one at the T5 Transfer area, so I did not bother. I did also notice there was a KLM flight at 10:25a, but it was not that time, so that would not have been possible.

I then went off to the KLM Crown Lounge where I had breakfast and checked e-mail, etc. Soon, it was time to head out to D16 for the British Airways flight. There was a long line at security, but once I cleared it, I soon got a middle seat in Economy class on this Airbus A321. The printer was not working, so the agent escorted me down to the airplane as she had to write my seat number on the boarding pass.

amsterdam/london: Departing Central Amsterdam

2NOV08 Amsterdam, Netherlands

It was 8:15a, when the alarm sounded. I kept touching it a few times until about 9:00a when I got ready and headed out. At Central Station, the next train to Schipol was at 9:41a; I had two minutes.

I ran to platform 14a, up the stairs and boarded the train, verifying with conductor as I did so. It was strange as usually, they say where the train is stopping on the displays, but Schipol was not mentioned. The lady at the information counter had a pre-marked sign with "Schipol 14A" printed on it. I hardly needed to ask, before I noticed the sign. At exactly 9:41a, we pulled out of the station.