Diary of a flight to Amsterdam Schipol


My friend Robert tells me that last Tuesday when most Londoners stayed home in the snow, the first person to arrive in his central London office for a meeting was a guy who’d come in from Paris by Eurostar. Ha ha, we guffaw, it’s easier to commute from Paris to London than from the suburbs and home counties into the centre.


But this tale belies the reality of these short hop one or two-hour cross-border trips which you think will allow you to be in Paris/Brussels/Frankfurt in time for lunch. The journeys work well on paper, but as in chemical price reporting, there’s a world of difference between paper deals and physical deals.


This week’s simple hop from London Heathrow T5 to Amsterdam for the ICIS training seminars is plagued with delays:


11.20 board plane, sit on tarmac for 45 minutes

12.05 announcement that plane is missing an unspecified piece of equipment so we must all get off

12.10 get off plane

12.45 board new plane, sit on tarmac for 40 minutes

1.25 take off into clear blue sky with not a breath of wind

3.15 (local time) arrive Schipol


On a side note – is there no stopping the transformation of Schipol airport from a mere hub into a holiday destination in its own right? On my way back from the last ICIS training seminar in Rotterdam, when my flight was delayed by 4 hours, I discovered that the airport now has a XpresSpa. And now there are posters everywhere announcing the arrival of a casino IN THE AIRPORT!)

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