My Amsterdam to Vancouver direct KLM flight got canceled and I had to go through a lot including the delayed baggage. I felt stranded for some time and there was a lot that I learned. I hope my this blog can help you if you are stuck in the same situation. Here is the summary of the events:
- Arriving at Schiphol airport Amsterdam in the morning from New Delhi
- Waiting for the Gate E20 for the next KLM flight to Vancouver
- The flight gets delayed and ETD changes to 17:00 PM from 15:20 PM
- The departing gate changes from E20 to E06
- Finally, the flight gets canceled
- We visit the KLM counter
- New ticket was given to us on the next day Air Canada flight
- Ibis hotel stay was also given for the night
- With the new ticket and hotel passes, went to the immigration department
- Got one day visa issued to leave the airport for 24 hours
- Caught shuttle bus to the hotel
- Had dinner and next day breakfast
- Returned to the Schiphol airport again next day
- Flew to Vancouver via Toronto
- My baggage was missing
- Registered for the missing baggage at the Baggage counter at Vancouver
- Was given a registration number for the missing baggage
- Baggage arrives two days later and Read on for the whole story…
Landing in Amsterdam and KLM Flight got canceled
I landed in Amsterdam from New Delhi via KLM flight at around 7 AM in the morning local time. My next KLM flight to Vancouver was around 15:20 PM local time. I was sitting comfortably, searching out for some souvenirs for my brother and my love. I found some lovely souvenirs for them.
I sat at gate E20 after having lunch. At around 15:00 PM, the status of the flight changed to delayed and the ETD (Estimated Time of Departure) changed to 17:00 PM. Also, the gate was changed from E20 to E06. Anyway, every one of us moved from gate E20 to gate E06. At around 16:00 PM, if I remember correctly, the flight status changed from delayed to canceled.
So everyone approached the airline staff standing there. All of the passengers were redirected to the KLM desk. There were two KLM desks where most of the passengers were directed. At the KLM desk, we were told to form a line. Thank god, I was very much front in the line.
Getting the new ticket & Ibis hotel stay
There were around 4 to 5 staffs at the KLM desk serving the passengers one by one. Please note that to serve one passenger, it took around 20 minutes. So, if you feel stuck in such situation, I advise you to be proactive and stay ahead of others.
The flight Dilemma
Now, my turn came and they were going to book another flight. Here are some of the important things that you should consider and always keep on your mind.
- Most of the flight to Canada (Vancouver) from Amsterdam, they were offering was through the US. If you have no card which allows you to land in the US then, you might be in trouble. Even if you are transiting. So, being an Indian passport holder, flying through the US was not an option.
- The next most prominent option that they offered is flying via the UK, London Heathrow airport. But it needs a visa even if you want to change terminals or if the flight is not on the same day. For example, if you land at 11:00 PM and your flight are at 2:00 AM just after 3 hours but the next day, you will need a transit visa. We also dropped that option.
- The third and the final option was a direct flight to Canada and/or through Canada. So, I was offered a flight from Amsterdam to Toronto and from Toronto to Vancouver.
There could be other complexities too. So, please consider the safest options in such a situation because you do not want to get stuck again.
The Ibis hotel stay at Schiphol airport, Amsterdam
Once you get the ticket, Check in online then and there only. There is free wifi at the Schiphol airport or the Amsterdam airport. I would also advise you to download the Schiphol app which keeps you updated. I checked in online. While checking in online, I was asked by the KLM staff to put check-in baggage as none as my two baggage were already in transit. I did the same and I checked in online then and there. That’s so because if any problem happens I can ask at the KLM counter then and there.
Along with the new tickets, KLM also gave some passes. The passes include one day stay at the Ibis hotel near the Schiphol airport. I was also told to wait at the arrival stop number A9-A14 from where most of the hotels’ shuttles will leave and drop. But to leave the airport, I needed a visa.
Getting one day visa to leave the Schiphol airport:
Usually, most of the people with EU or EEA passport won’t need a visa to leave the airport. However, if you do not have any of those visas, you need to get them. So, I was directed to the Immigration near the arrivals. I stood in the queue and reached the immigration officer. I was later asked to wait near the Immigration office while they would prepare the one day visa which would allow me to leave the airport for the next 24 hours.
List of documents that immigration asked for preparing the one day visa to leave the airport:
- All ticket prints
- All boarding passes
- New tickets and boarding passes
- Passport and other cards if you have any such as Canada or US residency or citizenship cards
- I was also asked a few questions such as my flight schedule, luggage, the purpose of my visit to Canada etc.
It took around 2 hours to get the visa. There was a stamp put on my passport along with a visa letter which allowed me to leave the Schiphol airport for 24 hours. I caught the bus and reached the Ibis hotel.
Stay at Ibis hotel
The hotel passes include free buffet dinner and buffet breakfast next day. Once you arrive at the hotel, you will be either given a single room if you are alone or shared room depending on if you are traveling with someone. I was given a single room. When you check in, you can also ask for a dental and shower kit at the reception. The receptionist will also let you know about the shuttle bus timings, dinner and breakfast timings, and other details.
The buffet dinner time was from 7 PM to 9 PM. To me, 7 PM sounded early, so I decided to go at 8 PM. By the time, I reached there, most of the dinner items were over. So, I advise you to have an early dinner if you really want to enjoy their dinner. They had bread, chicken items, salads, fish etc. at the dinner. The sitting space is ample and large.
There is also a small pond just outside the hotel entrance. Where you can sit and enjoy the evening. There is also a bar on the ground floor where you can have drinks. Prices are reasonable along with good service.
The breakfast timing was 4 AM to 12 Noon. They had a lot of items in the breakfast. After breakfast, we caught the bus and reached the airport. Here is another piece of advice for you – leave at least 3 hours in advance from Ibis hotel because the airport will be too crowded or maybe, it was a weekend. But it is always good to have some time in your hand. There was a long queue at the security and then at the immigration. I had 2.5 hours in hand and I made just in time.
Lost luggage/ Delayed luggage
When I reached Vancouver, my luggage was missing. I had to report missing baggage at the missing baggage counter. They ask for some details such as flight information, baggage type, color etc. So, it’s good to have your baggage photograph with you for easy identification.
Then the guy at the counter gave me a first registration number along with a phone number where you can call and ask for updated details and information. They also ask information such as your address, phone number etc. If you have an address then well and good. Otherwise, give a friend’s address and phone number. The purpose of address and phone number is to contact you and send your baggage to your address.
In the worst case, if you have no number or address, ask that guy that you will come to pick them up and they should inform you via an email. They will also give you a phone number where you can call and update your contact and address information next day if you got an address or a number.
Initially, the baggage was untraceable. Next day, I was told that they found my baggage in Amsterdam and they were gonna send with the next KLM flight from Amsterdam to Vancouver. However, it arrived next to next day. The baggage passes through customs. Since I had cleared customs in Toronto, I gave that information also to the baggage counter guy. I think that helped him ease the process. Otherwise, customs might also take some time.
After that, I was told that I will receive a call from a contractor who was supposed to deliver my luggage. The day my baggage arrived, I received a call from a contractor. He asked my address and he asked if I was available from 8 to 11 PM that evening.
Another piece of advice is that you should keep all your bills safe with you in case you want to claim your baggage if they cannot find it.
My baggage arrived safely. I hope my experience helps you out. Let me know how was your canceled flight and/or lost baggage experience.