Up in the Air

It’s that time of the month again.  Time to go on leave from work for a month.  Off home to Hua Hin..  well, that was the plan.

As per usual, I’ll fly out of Iraq, into Doha, spend a few hours in the lounge and then connect to Bangkok.  Home the next morning.

Only this time, when I got to Doha I had to change my plans and head to the UK for a couple of days.     Unfortunately my ticket was a non refundable or changeable – so had to kiss goodbye to my Business flight to Bangkok.  Oh well, can’t be helped.

On top of this, in a few days I have to get back to Thailand – so that’s another Business flight which is going to cost me a few thousand.  o.k.. I can live with that.   However,  I need to get to the UK.

Looking at all the options, the best available was the midnight flight to Amsterdam with KLM and then onto the UK – to have me in my house by 10am.  Perfect.

As it’s midnight and I would be sleeping (and I have just had to shell out for expensive flights) I got an Economy seat to Amsterdam.  How bad could it be?

First off,  I went to the Qatar desk in the Doha Business lounge – to tell them I would not be getting on my flight at 8pm heading to Bangkok.  (I arrived there at 4pm)   They informed my ticked is not refundable and I told them I had accepted I had to take it on the chin.  All fine and well, I had no checked-luggage, so all that was needed was to inform some lady with a clip-board so they would not be calling my name out over the loud speaker when I am holding up the plane.

Now here’s the problem.  I had 6 hours of waiting.  I had paid for a Business seat which I would not be taking – so there is no feeding me, one less set of blankets, washbags, headphones etc…that would not be used by me.       So when I asked if it was o.k to stay in the lounge while I wait, I was surprised to hear them say no!

They said I could stay up until my original flight boarding time – which was basically 2 hours.    I couldn’t believe my ears.

Anyway, I went back inside and ate and drank my bodyweight.  Charged up every device I could and went to the toilet as many times as was physically possible.  I was getting my monies worth.

Now,  I am not sure how they were going to police my stay in the lounge?   Were they going to come looking for me and hoof me out?  If they could find me that is?

Around 9pm (an hour over-stay) I got bored and thought I’d go walking around for a few hours.  As I left,  I went up to the counter and said to the guy who told me I was not welcome after 8 and told him..

“I take more than 20 Business Class flights a year with Qatar.  My colleagues and staff do also.  I have paid for Business Class flight which I can’t take – and you have told me I can’t stay in the lounge for 3 hours”

“Because of this,  I will not fly Qatar again and I shall tell all my colleagues and make my staff switch airlines”

(He went to call over his supervisor)

“Don’t worry talking to anyone – I shall explain it all in the customer satisfaction survey they you guys send me all the time”

And with that I left.   Looking forward to my Emirates flight in a few days where the usual pampering service shall be resumed.  Twats.

So…   what’s KLM like then?   In one word – horrible.     The plane looked old and nasty.  The TV screen was smaller than my iPhone and for some reason – I was surrounded by people with kids.  I say kids,  I really mean FUCKING MONSTERS.    I do believe that kids should not be allowed on planes.  I guess putting them in the Cargo hold would be o.k. They might a blanket?

I tried my best to sleep, but with the elbows stuck in my ribs, the kid infront screaming and the big Quatari looking chap grabbing the headrest of my seat everytime he wanted to either get up or lift an arse cheek to fart – there was no relaxing being done in my chair.

When I arrived in Schipole – I was tired and grumpy.  (no change there then)

I have to say, Schipole is my favorite airport.  It’s been recently refurbished.  Lots of bright lights and beach wood everywhere.  Very nice.

So here I sit,  waiting for my flight to the uk.   I have 2 nights there before heading to Thailand.     Lomeo and Bubba Steve shall be waiting in a bar when I arrive.

It’s been a month, a lot of flights and a lot of stress.

I expect Monday night to be messy.


















6 thoughts on “Up in the Air”

  1. I flew KLM on the return trip of a European vacation back in 04-ish? As I remember KLM is a partner of Delta (ALL AMERICAN CARRIERS ARE SHIT!!!) The outbound Delta flight was, as expected, a miserable haul. We flew LAX to Detroit, then to Amsterdam. Same in reverse except KLM to Detroit. The KLM portion being the better leg of that nightmare but hands down the Asian carriers are a world away from any American airline. I’ve never flown Emirates or Qatar but I can imagine from their marketing they aim to provide a premium level of service, on par with say Singapore or Korean air? My favorite used to Thai but since they quit the LAX to BKK non-stop my runner up is Cathay Pacific. I only really fly to Asia now a days so my scope is pretty narrow! If I have to travel domestic I just drive or if it’s a short < 1 hour flight (LAX or SNA to SFO or LAS) I can handle anything!
    But those Qatar fucks are really sticking it to you mate, an unused Biz class is heart breaking 🙁

  2. Hey G.
    Long time, me no write.
    I am still alive and kicking…

    I am off to Africa for work so i will have some interesting flight stories for your blog coming up.
    Also Emirates Perth-Dubai-Accra-Mali….
    Should be totally fucked when I get to the mine site…….watch this space.
    Rock on,

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