Saturday, 3 September, 2011
We got to Amsterdam expecting to be met again at the gate by someone to work out our transfer. There was someone at the gate who announced a few names to see him but we were not one of them. They said to go to the KLM transfer counter at T6. That was when our fun began. There were some very rude receptionist girls there but eventually we got a ticket to see the counter people to do the transfer. Well, we presented the paperwork that we had been provided by MAS and the girl said it was not good enough as there needed to be another sheet with ticket numbers on it. She worked hard for a long time and was getting nowhere. A single guy from the flight was at the next counter and he had one of those sheets with about 20 names on it, none of them ours and none of them related to him. It apparently was a MAS screw up. The counter girl eventually got onto MAS and indicated that we had to go to their Departure counter, which meant that we had to go through immigration, go to the MAS counter which worked well as we got the sheet of paper and then back through security (long queues) and immigration. I also got lost trying to find a loo.
The lounge was OK, managed to confirm details of our further travels from the Melbourne Travel agent, thanks Sally. We got on the plane, Business Class, but it was a puddle jumper with two rows of “Business”. Flight was short. I was in row two but by the time the food got there, (row 2, really) there was nothing left I could eat. They found me a cold ham sandwich. The wine, from Chile, was really good.
We had a new flight from Frankfurt to Barcelona, organised by Sally. It was a tight connection but should be OK unless something went wrong. Well, it did. JV’s suitcase came off but mine did not. There was quite a queue of people in front of the single person handling the lost baggage but they agreed to move us to the front of the queue. They guy was good, said that my suitcase was still with MAS in Amsterdam. He hoped to have it delivered to me the next day (Sunday). Lots of other people from the fated Melbourne flight were in the same queue.
We managed to get to the gate on time, of course there was a delay. We were the last two seats on the plane, Economy. We were seated quite far apart. I was in the midst of a bunch of very loud, boisterous young people. After a while I noticed that there was a wallet in the seat pocket in front of me. I gave it to the Steward and they made an announcement. It belonged to one of the Kids around me. As a result, the airline gave me a glass of red – not special but a drink.
The plane pushed off the Gate and then stopped. The Pilot told us that there was a large amount of air traffic over North Spain and we had been told to delay turning on our engines until at least another 25 minutes. Finally, we were on the way, another glass of the red, the food looked ordinary and landed at Barcelona airport, a mere 9 hours later than originally scheduled.