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The Airport Adventure

Monday, September 29, 2017

View Provence 2014 on Beausoleil's travel map.

Leaving Nice International Airport

Leaving Nice International Airport

Up at 2:15 AM and downstairs before 3:00 to check out. The shuttle was already there so we decided to go to the airport. It was open but barely. We found seats near ALM check in and I tried the automatic kiosks which actually worked. We got all our boarding passes and the luggage checked through to Sacramento. When the world started to wake, other people arrived and naturally pushed in front of us to check in. However, since we had our bags labeled, we were escorted through first. Ha! We opened the security check line and had no problems. They even let us keep our shoes and jackets on. A short sweet flight to Amsterdam.

Flying over the Alps

Flying over the Alps

The adventure began! Nice to Amsterdam was an EU domestic flight but we then had to get on an international flight to Seattle, and when we got to our gate, we discovered another passport check that took forever because nobody seemed to know what they were doing and everyone wanted to supervise. Next was a nightmare security check run by Dutch control freaks. We removed shoes, belts, jackets, emptied pockets and were told to take out anything electronic . . . phone, cameras, tablets, e-readers, chargers and all cables and cords. Needless to say, it was complete chaos. I tossed my entire camera bag and purse into a bin. In another bin I put all my voltage converters, shoes, etc. I got through with a small fuss about something, but Ed was caught and couldn’t get through. I asked the man on my side what was going on and he said Ed had a camera. I told him I had the only family camera. They kept holding him and going through my briefcase that Ed was carrying for me. They finally brought it over to me and we found an old hard drive I’d brought as a spare and forgotten because I hadn’t used it. That was solved but they started on Ed’s backpack at that point still claiming a camera. From the depths of his backpack, they finally dug out the (also forgotten) speaker for his iPod. He hadn’t used it and had forgotten . . . just as I hadn’t used the hard drive and had forgotten. It would be nice if the airline would warn you to go through your luggage and put all your electronic stuff in one place so you could grab it. At any rate, they finally set Ed free and we put all our clothes back on, found seats and waited to board, none too cheerfully. What a hassle. Never had to do that before . . . In retrospect, never had to do that since.

Landing at Amsterdam

Landing at Amsterdam

A very long, boring flight to Seattle with a couple pretty bad meals, the last one of which I skipped. Then we landed in Seattle to more chaos. They had more people than Immigration could handle so we were kept up a flight of stairs for a while. Finally we were allowed down and joined the long snaking lines that were roped off. They moved quickly but only because not much checking was happening. We got to the new digital passport readers and you do your Customs form on screen; they photograph you and give you a couple tickets with your photos. This, of course, is after you have filled it all out by hand and have to toss that when you get home. Then we had to find our luggage and get back in long snaking, roped off lines with that. We walked the entire length of the long passport area at least six times in the roped lines. Finally got our stamp, gave them the ticket and rechecked the luggage. We checked the board for our gate and took three trains to get there to discover the gate had been changed so we took two trains to get back to the correct gate. We’re in flight now and with luck will soon be home. Long day not helped by a complete lack of organization at both Amsterdam and Seattle. These are usually well organized and fairly pleasant airports . . .

Mimi, our kitty welcoming us home.

Mimi, our kitty welcoming us home.

Postscript: Arrived safely and with all luggage. The SuperShuttle driver managed to spend nearly an hour getting us from the airport to home but we did make it and Mimi was waiting for us. Good kitty . . .

If you have questions about traveling in France, you may find some answers here. Check the table of contents. FeeI free to ask questions in the comment section and I'll see if I can answer them. Click here: Questions about France

Posted by Beausoleil 13:23 Archived in France

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Goodness Sally it it getting more difficult these days with Customs checks. Should be simple you'd think with the new scanner chip passports. At least one person was happy to greet you when you got home :) Mimi is very cute :)

by aussirose

What a dreadful tale of inconveniences.


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