Just a quick post to let everyone know we finally managed to arrive in the Netherlands yesterday night. Our plane was 2 hours delayed! Not as disastrous as it could have been, but still very annoying.
We were at Gatwick airport pretty early, having had no problems with bus or train, and went through check-in and security much quicker than I expected (15 minutes while last time at Stansted it took us 1.5 hours). So we had about 2 hours to spare until our flight. No problem, I had my laptop, book and ipod with me, plus shopping around the tax-free shops is also always fun.
The most irritating thing was the lack of updates. Now this isn’t as a severe situation as the whole Eurostar saga of last week, but some short quick updates to the passengers could have helped a lot. What happened was that the info boards initially showed that the ‘Gate opens at 16:25′ (this for a flight leaving at 17:05) and we would see to which gate we’d had to go. 16:25 came and went and still no change. A couple minutes later it changed to ‘Please wait’, nothing else just ‘Please wait’. 16:40, 16:50, 17:00 and still no word. Finally around that time it changed to ‘Gate opens at 17:40′. No other information, just that our Gate would open then. Eventually it only actually opened at 18:00, and we rushed to the gate, only to stand in line for even more minutes until the dispatcher showed up.
I think it was somewhere after 19:00 that we finally took flight, two hours after we were supposed to go. The thing is: in the plane we were told that the reason the plane was late, was that it got held up in the snow in Manchester. They knew pretty early on that there was at least an hour delay. If we were told that we had an hours delay around the time we were looking at the boards, we could have gone on shopping around and not being in constant ‘stand-by’ mode, peeking every few seconds at the board to see if there was any change.
Anyway, we arrived at Schiphol airport around 22:00 local time. I’m at least glad we managed to get here! Bring on the Christmas!