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Old 09-15-2008, 02:06 PM
 
34 posts, read 121,581 times
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I am looking at flights from the US to England for a business trip this coming December. Most of the available options have me ending up in one of the London airports, which is not ideal for the folks coming to meet me, but not totally out of the question. When I explored flights into a more convenient airport, I found an interesting itinerary, and for only $100 more than an equivalent flight into and back out of London. This option has me flying US Airways to Amsterdam after changing planes in Philadelphia, then switching to KLM for the last leg of the flight into Norwich.

This itinerary includes a layover in Amsterdam of nearly seven hours (but, all told--layovers included--the length of this flight plan is only slightly more than any of the comparable London itineraries...go figure!). Having never been there, I am interested in the possibility of leaving the airport via rail to go into the city and have a quick look around before catching my next flight. Some Googling indicated that a seven-hour layover *would* allow time for a bit of sightseeing, but it was not clear whether this would be allowed by the airport given that I would be in the midst of an international flight.

(FYI, I would be checking baggage, and since this trip involves two airlines, I presume that I would need to claim and recheck my bags in Amsterdam anyway...and not simply remain in the concourse)

Can anybody give me a solid word on the feasibility of this concept, please? Are there any special measures I would need to take in order to make this excursion from the airport completely "legal"? Is it more trouble than it would be worth? Is my time already too limited? Am I crazy to even consider changing airlines mid-flight, regardless of anything else? These are the issues off the top of my head...please take them and run as you see fit!
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,278 posts, read 44,987,205 times
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I have had overnight stops in Amsterdam using Northwest/KLM, they (KLM) kept my checked luggage, took the train to a nice little B&B type hotel downtown. Netherlands Customs are (were, anyway) very laid-back - I held up my US passport, they waved me in without really checking it.

I would check with US Airways to see if they will transfer your bags direct to KLM. They might.

Once you take care of your checked bags, and assuming you don't have to take them and hold on to them (in this case I'd look into a day pass in one or the other airlines executive lounge (Crown Room equivalent).

7 hours *is* enough to take a quick look around but barely. I'm dis-inclined to do this sort of thing but that's just me. The train ride into town is less than 30 minutes. The kicker is catching the "right" train back to the airport. If you miss the train you could probably take a cab.

The Amsterdam airport is pretty nice, has a lot of shops, if it was me I'd stay there, 7 hours is enough to do everything inside the airport, plus. I'd spring for a day pass to the Crown Room.

One advantage to your intenerary is you will fly KLM home over the Atlantic, I did this run several times, at least to Seattle it's a 747, even in coach you have plenty of room (unless you are NFL or NBA material, anyway!) the food is good, free Heinikin beer. Free Frexinet, too, although real Champagne you have to pay for (props to KLM staff for knowing the difference)

At worst, your bags will get lost in Amsterdam, I wouldn't pack anything perishable in them - I would trust KLM to sort it out the next day though. Since it's on the return leg this should be a minor inconvenience at worst.

Regardless if you go into town or not, I'd do this, it's worth the $100 IMHO.
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Old 09-15-2008, 02:37 PM
 
12,345 posts, read 18,445,635 times
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Yeah you can do it. The train goes right into the Amsterdam airport. Getting through passport control isn't too much of an issue with an American passport (after waiting in line) but I think you have to go through customs for your bags as well. Then repeat the process of security going back through. That will eat up maybe an hour of time at most. There is no legal issue with leaving the airport during a layover as long as you have a passport.

You would have a good 4 or 5 hours, leaving a safety margin, to tour Amsterdam or maybe dropping down to another Dutch town. My only concern is, dude, you are going to be wasted by the time you get to your final destination after a 8 hour trip across the pond and 7 hour tour and the time change.
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:29 AM
 
6,353 posts, read 5,172,907 times
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I have actually done this, in Amsterdam. It's perfectly legal and safe. My only caution is that you may feel rushed. Everything takes longer than you think it will.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:25 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,651,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Siegel View Post
I have actually done this, in Amsterdam. It's perfectly legal and safe. My only caution is that you may feel rushed. Everything takes longer than you think it will.
This. I would allow at least an extra hour to return over what you think it will take. There could be a delay with the train or a long line at security.
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,320 posts, read 6,989,633 times
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wow, talk about an old thread! I would be curious to hear what the OP ended up doing.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:31 AM
 
219 posts, read 218,859 times
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I did this in Paris in 2010 at Charles de Gaulle airport on my way back to the US. When I came back to the airport I was pulled out of the security line and interrogated for over an hour on why I did that. My flight back to the US left without me.

Now I just stay in the airport.

I have never heard of this happening to anyone else.
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:17 AM
 
556 posts, read 763,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockinar View Post
I did this in Paris in 2010 at Charles de Gaulle airport on my way back to the US. When I came back to the airport I was pulled out of the security line and interrogated for over an hour on why I did that. My flight back to the US left without me.

Now I just stay in the airport.

I have never heard of this happening to anyone else.
Wow... I had a 12 hour layover at CDG last summer on my way to Copenhagen. I intentionally chose that itinerary so I could have lunch in Paris. No one batted an eye when I got back to the airport and when through security.
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Old 05-17-2015, 02:19 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,651,031 times
Reputation: 13020
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpheels View Post
Wow... I had a 12 hour layover at CDG last summer on my way to Copenhagen. I intentionally chose that itinerary so I could have lunch in Paris. No one batted an eye when I got back to the airport and when through security.
I think there might be more to the story...
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Old 05-18-2015, 02:03 AM
 
219 posts, read 218,859 times
Reputation: 297
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
I think there might be more to the story...
Nope. They looked at my passport and saw I just entered earlier, the questioned started and it was on from there.
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