Thursday, December 13, 2012

The last few details.

Along with a last look or two.




Just ordinary buildings around the neighbourhood by the way.


It’s been a few days now since I ordered our car for Friday (tomorrow) morning,  so that’s all sorted out.  The bugger of it is,  the car will be here at 4:45 a.m.  I suppose in consideration of some of the whacky times we wake up without ever once setting an alarm clock,  getting out of bed at four won’t be that big a deal.  I’ll set the alarm though,  just the same.

Our flight to Amsterdam is for something like 7:00 (it’s some weird time like six fifty eight and nine tenths,  why do they do that?) so that was the reason for the early departure.

Besides the bike riding and reasonable proximity to a lot of places within driving distance, I have to admit that being able to conveniently fly with KLM is one of the things that we do miss by not living in the Netherlands.  I suppose there’s bound to be a few things one has to give up to live in Vienna,  but we never suspected that having a decent airline would be one of them.  Air Austria is pretty much the only game in town when it comes to direct flights from here to Toronto,  and when it comes right down to it,  we’d sooner haul our asses out of bed at some Gawd awful hour to get ourselves up to Schiphol.  (Um, that would be Amsterdam)

We’ve tried different tactics.   Earlier on like a couple dopes, we flew “economy” in Air Austria.  I can’t say I recommend it.  I can handle being a little cramped,  but at a certain point in time during the flight,  it also starts to get kind of hot and stuffy in the cabin.  Almost like there’s a lack of oxygen. 

So then we tried First Class with Austrian.  Well, the food and the ability to stretch out was fabulous.  The air quality still sucked.   And here’s the other thing,  you have the “privilege” of getting on the plane first.  Well see,  I know where my seat is,  and since it’s First Class,  there’s not going to be any issue with finding room in the overhead compartment.   So, why do I need to get on first?  Just to show off?   The other thing too is,  EVERYBODY else who then has to board,  needs to march right past you,  as you’re trying to get situated in your seat and not feel quite so guilty about having ponied up all that extra cash to be there.

“We paid extra,  really!”

Speaking for myself, I don’t particularly want to look at these sad sacks trudging on by as I sip my champagne cocktail.   OK,  truth be told I don’t like champagne very much at all,  but you get the idea.

Once in a while there’s a little show that makes it mildly interesting,  like on one occasion when this lady thought there would be nothing wrong with taking the first seat she came to after getting on board.  She looked and acted like she just got off a flight from Minsk,  so the flight attendants had quite the job trying to explain to her that,  her seat was WAY back there.  Something like 24F.  Not 4F.   Great sport, as in fun to watch.  They didn’t get mean,  but they were getting close. I tried not to giggle.

So then that brings us to KLM.  Well,  for the overseas flight to Toronto,  they have this thing called a 747.   Remember those?   There’s still a bunch of them out there.   Awesome aircraft.   Even in economy,  it’s never been that bad.  I mean,  I *almost* enjoyed it.  

First class on the 747 though,  is a whole different ball game.  When you’re checking in,  if there are any spots available,  you can choose to sit upstairs.   Even if you don’t,  you’re still at the front of the aircraft and you have no idea what’s going on back there with the plebes in steerage.  The only area where they slightly fall down is in the food department.  It’s fine, really, but the Austrians have the Dutch beat when it comes to putting on the feed bag in First Class.  Not a huge consolation though, when you’re hot and stuffy.


The question then is,  are we going First Class this time around?   Well no.  We just didn’t want to pony up the dough.  But here’s the thing.  If you have enough points,  then you can get one of the seats in economy that are right up behind the bulkhead,  where there’s very little traffic and lots of room.  This is the 747 don’t forget. With the exception of having the crazy big assed power seats,  it’s almost like being in First Class. 

Well, *almost* 



B747 400w


It’s a little hard to make out, (click on it)  but on this diagram it’s referred to as “Economy Comfort”. 

OK, whatever.  


Turns out though,  when I went to choose our seats and print out our boarding passes this morning,  I couldn’t quite get what I wanted,  but we still do have a couple seats with “an extra 10 cm of leg room”.   Oooh,  aah.

Hey,  that works for me.  Not only that,  but these seats are just forward of the exit,  so leaning back isn’t a big deal.

I think you have to click that one too.

seating plan

Anyhoodle,  that was pretty much all that was available.   There was some brief discussion with the Finance Minister* about paying the extra to get up into first class,  but it turns out those seats were sold out!  Well, poop.   I even phoned some Dude in Amsterdam to make sure.  Turns out that he sees the same screen that I do,  and yes Bob,  First Class is sold out.


See,  there are a couple ways to get yourself into First Class.  They both involve paying gobs of money,  so don’t get too excited.   The first way,  is to simply bite the bullet when ordering the tickets in the first place.  You’ll pay whatever the market will bear.   Well,  I can buy a hundred shares of AT&T for that much,  and be earning 5%.  Actually,  it’s closer to 5.3%,  but let’s not get fussy.

The other way,  if you want to take your chances is,  wait until the day before the flight and see if you can get an “upgrade”.  Sometimes airlines will offer an upgrade for a reduced price.  Sometimes.  There needs to be seats available.

I guess it’s a popular flight,  ‘cause I struck out.   Oh well.

Seems we’re not the only ones who are willing to get themselves to Amsterdam to fly KLM.   I’d wager that there are open First Class seats on the Air Austria flight.   There were the last time we went.  Funny ‘bout that.


There may be a very brief “blogcation” over the next few days,  as I endeavour to get settled in at home.   I’m looking forward to pizza tomorrow night.  It’s become a tradition.

I’m also looking forward to going to the pub next Friday,  unless of course the world comes to an end.  But what the hell,  at least I’ll have a beer in my hand.



Thanks for stopping by.


*That would be Travelling Companion.  Who did you think?


  1. I just kind of assumed that Austria would have a great airline. How long a flight is it from the Netherlands to home? Enjoy that pizza and beer.

  2. I think almost everyone flies to Amsterdam first :) I love Economy Comfort. It's an affordable way to upgrade when you purchase the tickets (unlike first class) and be more comfortable. Of course, the first class seats offer so many more perks but OUCH! We only fly first class when we've got enough FF miles.
    Have fun at the pub and enjoy that pizza!

  3. You're going home Frank-N-Furter? Enjoy Canadian bacon. Or, for you, just "bacon."

    Safe travels and happy landings.

    1. No no, wrong country.
      That's "Wiener Schnitzel" to you.

  4. I knew it was TC. Now in Canada if you want to book a seat from say Edmonton to Mazatlan you have to pay $10.00 on each domestic leg and $15.00 on each international leg to just be able to preselect a seat before arriving at the airport. RIDICULOUS!!

  5. Hey you two, travel safe. and we rented a Fiat 500 in Vegas and had a fabulous time driving it. Roomy, really,in spite of the roller skate appearance, and fun to drive on those curvy desert roads. Maybe not in Toronto, though. Enjoy the Jetta. and the flight.

  6. Can't say I envy you that long flight. Hope your seats are relatively comfortable. Enjoy the flight.


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.