Well, I made it to The Netherlands on Thursday, September 11th.
The NWA flight left Little Rock a little late on the 10th. We arrived at the airport in Detroit only 10 minutes late, but, of course, it took a while to deboard. My connection time was less than an hour but I had to go to the ladies room at the airport. After leaving there, I looked for the gate # I thought I had seen on the monitor upon my arrival. Gate C-34. However, once at this gate, I saw nothing about Amsterdam. While I stood there baffled, a gate announcement came on advising Amsterdam passengers to come to gate A-34. So I took off for concourse A. I walked, and I walked, and I walked. Another gate announcement came on this time listing the names of the passengers for whom they were waiting on to board. My name was among them. I was moving as fast as my chubby little legs would take me but gate A-34 still appeared to be nowhere close. I went from one hallway to another, from one walking escalator to the next, and finally down an escalator. Still I was not at gate A-34. Then another announcement came on and once again it included my name. This time it was the final boarding call. It stated we had 1 minute to get to the gate before the doors were closed. As I rounded my final corner, I saw gate 36, 35 and, finally, gate 34. I was out-of-breath, sweating, and swearing that I would never let this happen again. I made it waving my boarding pass announcing that I one of the passengers that needed to board.
Fortunately, it was all up hill from there…for a while. The flight was perfect. My seating arrangements were perfect. But when I went to baggage claim area 13 to pick up my luggage, one bag was not there. I waited for over 20 minutes for it. I stopped a NWA/KLM employee to explain my dilemma and also to ask if I could go and tell my ride the reason for my delay. She stated I would have stand in the customer service line and that if I went out of the area, I would not be allowed back in. So I stood in the line, which moved as slow as molasses. Almost 40 minutes later, my turn arrived and I explained my situation. The rep called downstairs and fortunately they found my bag right off and sent it up to the carousel.
Outside of the luggage claim area, I found sweet Simon there waiting for me. Of course, he was concerned and had tried to locate me throughout the area, having no idea of why I had not stepped through the doors along with everyone else. Customer service wasn't much help to him, which makes sense. Suppose he was someone I didn't want to know of my whereabouts. So, finally, Simon, his friend Cornelius, and I left Schiphol on our way to the picturesque city of Delft.