Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Nightmare Flight to Norwich
KLM, Royal Dutch airlines have been cutting back on a lot of things, much of which I don't mind as long as safety remains number one. The flight to Norwich this afternoon, to see parents, was an example of really poor organization. Norwich airport had been shut by freezing fog for the whole of Thursday morning. So when we took off from Amsterdam at 1255, they must have known the chances of landing there in "45 minutes" was going to be rather slim. In the end, we circled North Norfolk for 45 minutes before concluding that this Fokker 50 flight was going to have to divert to Stansted. Passengers were promised everything has been taken care of - a bus to Norwich airport had been laid on. In fact it was. The only problem was that KLM has zero ground staff at Stansted and the staff that were recruited to assist hadn't a clue what they were doing. Cabin baggage was delivered to a mystery belt number, and after customs they put a guy with a clipboard and a stammer in charge of telling people where the bus was going to leave. Nothing against the guy - he couldn't help his speech impediment, but he also couldn't explain to the Dutch people on the flight what was supposed to be happening. The driver was sulking because people had thrown suitcases into the back of his bus without permission - so he didn't get credit for driving us safely to Norwich in pretty awful conditions. A classic case where a little bit of information would have made KLM into heroes of the day, instead of just fumblers in the dark.