Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Home for the Holidays

A couple weeks ago my mum said to me "Here's an idea... why don't you go see your sisters for Christmas?" I grew up in Amsterdam; my parents used to work in the Netherlands. The big age difference between me and my sisters means that when we left for Canada, seven-year-old Lindsay didn't have much say, but Rachel and Heather were already out of the nest. Now they both have their own families in Amsterdam. It's hard being away from family, and I feel it the most around Christmas.

I wish I could say the trip there was easy going but you wouldn't believe my bad luck. Originally I was meant to fly to JFK and then to Schipol. The drive up to the airport was super foggy - we could see maybe five cars in front of us and that was it. Apparently New York had it worse. First my flight was delayed... then cancelled. I've never had a flight cancelled and I really didn't know what to do. 

I called my airline - they'd set up another flight for me the next day but I was anxious to leave and already had an itinerary (typical). I asked to be put on the next direct flight. No problem, it seemed. Except that when I ran for the KLM desk and out of breath handed over my passport I was told that I was technically on the plane, but my ticket hadn't been issued. 

I asked the desk about my checked bags and was told something like "that's not my jurisdiction". This woman really did not want to help me. She continued to tell me that since I missed my flight I was out of luck (great, you don't even know what flight I was on, super helpful!) Wonderful... "What's the next step that I can take?" I ask. You may not be polite, but I shall. She pointed vaguely to ask another person.

I called again to my airline and had someone confirm this. Then I was on hold as they tried to figure out my flight (attempt #4 if we're counting). 20 minutes later... dial-tone.

Since I had started with the airline on the phone, I had to complete the process over the phone. I called again and asked if they had the transcripts from my last conversations, the answer apparently was "no", and when I explained the non-issuing of the ticket the person I was speaking to this time completely denied that that was the case. I assured her that was correct and that KLM had confirmed this. but she insisted I was wrong. 

After being transferred to the supervisor, I struggled to get my bags back, finally figuring out who to ask. Eventually, after an hour on hold I was put on a flight from Toronto to Detroit to Amsterdam. With 20 minutes to run for the gate I quickly booked it. It was kind of like in Home Alone when the whole family runs through the airport, and when I got to the gate I asked, out of breath, if I had made it in time. "Yes you made it, the flight has been delayed." It was so delayed, in fact, that I would miss my connecting flight, extending my layover in Detroit to 14 hours. 

Crying, exhausted, I finally folded. Calling in one last time I booked the direct flight leaving the next day. And finally... I was off!

Me and all my luggage (JK)

I never have problems flying, but this was unreal. I made it, however, just in time for Christmas!

And look what was waiting for me when I got there...


  1. What a nightmare for you! But, I love your fun photos.

    1. Thank you! Yes it was the absolute worst and I was so close to just calling it quits. I'm happy everything worked out tho, phew!