Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flights to Amsterdam (Airlines suck)

This morning at 4AM, I got out of bed, had breakfast, walked to Amsterdam Centraal Station because the trams weren't running yet, bought a return ticket to Schiphol airport to pick up my niece and texted her father, letting him know that I was heading to the airport to get her. His reply was, and I quote "Kidding? She hasn't even left here yet."

Why, oh, why are airlines so insistent upon providing such hateful, user unfriendly itineraries? Here's the one she sent me.
  Tue 14JUN DELTA XXXX    OK   T   LV PORTLAND      635A     F     29A
                                   AR NYC-KENNEDY   255P          COACH

  Tue 14JUN DELTA XXXX    OK   T   LV NYC-KENNEDY   415P     D     30C
                                   AR AMSTERDAM     600A#         COACH
Of course, had I stopped for even a moment to think about this, I would have realized that she was arriving tomorrow, but I saw "14JUN 600A". I travel internationally quite a bit so I should know better, but I didn't.

I took a day off today to go pick her up. Now I have to try and switch that around at work.

This isn't the first time I've been upset with airlines (warning, foul language in that). For most industries, this level of awful customer customer service would be a disaster, but airlines don't seem to really care that much. I've never quite understood that.

And yes, I know this is ultimately my fault instead of the airlines, but my god they could do a better job of presenting itinerary details. That crap above is practically hostile.


  1. I think the '#' after the 600A points to a footnote indicating the date-difference.

  2. @gilimanjaro: That, of course, is completely transparent and intuitive [/sarcasm]. I think you just proved Curtis's point.

  3. By the way, Curtis, I learned that the train that goes from Schipol to Centraal has one stop in between Schipol and Centraal: it is at the other end of Rembrandt Park and is called Amsterdam Lelyaan. I remember it distinctly, as that was where I got off on my trip to see you. Had I known, I would have walked the 2km to your place instead of going to Centraal and taking a tram to backtrack several kilometres back to your place.

    The map misses the route along highway A4, but I remember riding along that highway on the way to the Airport.

    Save yourself the effort and walk 2km to that stop tomorrow morning, if you can.

  4. Yeah, either take the train from Lelylaan, or take the bus from Leidseplein (197, IIRC). Both of them closer to you than Central Station.


    Leave 415P arrive 600A - you thought maybe she'd arrive before she left?

  6. Don't worry about messing with he dates...

    I once wantd to go to job interviw in Oslo, Norway.
    Since there's a train going directly there(well, the railway is a 1Jour ride from where I lived back then) and they still had sleeper carts...
    I went by the local travel agency and had them fix me up with an overnight railway ticket, then a return with airplane.

    Somehow, they screwed up the dates on the order, and my train ticket was for 23:30 on the day I was to arrive, not the day I wanted to leave.
    And no, I didn't notice, either, until the conductor came around to check it. If there had been someone else with a ticket for that cabin...
    After that I've made it a rule to double-check every ticket.