Here’s how my 1 hour and 35 minute flight from Venice to Amsterdam became a stress-filled, 12-hour journey.
I made a rookie mistake and failed to check on my flight status before leaving my hotel. This is really an important thing to do when departing from the Venice aiport because a) the airport is hard to get to and it takes over an hour to get there; b) the airport is too small physically for the volume it handles and doesn’t accomodate long lines well; and c) airport staff and travellers are often quite stupid.
Once it was announced that our morning KLM flight was cancelled (due to heavy fog in Amsterdam), I got on my cell phone right away while standing in line and booked myself on EasyJet flight at 5pm. However, I still endured hours standing in lines, getting conflicting info from KLM staff about possible earlier flights, refund authorizations, and what not.
Cooled my heels at the airport all afternoon, watching my half day and evening in Amsterdam vaporize. My EasyJet flight was packed, naturally, and I encountered many bad travel cliche situations: I had a middle seat due to my late booking, there seemed to be negative space from my knees to the seat in front of me, the fellow on my left seemed to have ADHD and constantly jiggled his legs and worked the seatback tray latch incessantly, the fellow on my right had a major case of halitosis with onion/garlic bad breath, and so on. It was a long seeming flight.
At least my luggage arrived in AMS with me and catching the train into town went smoothly. Arriving at 7pm meant I couldn’t get a Hilton Honors hotel room upgrade and that means no access to the Executive Lounge, so the nasty effects will ripple through the rest of my stay. In the larger scale of bad things happening in the world, this was very minor (if stressful) and all is well now. Van Gogh Museum, here I come.