1st of Nov '09: Frans and Maxine were the first ones to leave Australia for Europe, we flew from Perth to Kuala Lumpur and from there caught the flight to Amsterdam.
Because our final destination was Copenhagen to meet up with an old colleague of mine we had our luggage booked straight through so we didn't have to pick it up and go through customs again in Amsterdam. As things turned out we had been quicker to do just that, on arrival at Schiphol airport we proceeded straight to the transfer desk but as with so many things these days, those desks have become a battery of self help kiosks where you have to enter your details and pronto a boarding card is printed and presented to you......sure....
We went through the usual steps to get our boarding cards, name, passport number, frequent flyer number, etc. and everthing went well until we came to the final question...whaddabout the luggage and upon owning up that was 'en route' to Copenhagen the machine litteraly spat the dummy and excreted a piece of paper with the message to go to the transfer help desk where there were 78 people ahead of us with a similar problem where this you beaut self help system simply didn't have answer for.
Luckily we received someone elses number who had done the naughty thing and helped himself to a ticket from the number machine and after 10 minutes our number was called only to have our way barred by the same person who had his number confiscated by the KLM attendant and given to us! He obviously had run out of patience and demanded to be seen to.
We let the man and his wife go ahead of us because it wasn't really their fault that it was complete chaos at the self help desk.
After we received our boarding passes we went via a long route through customs, that excersize alone costs us about 45 minutes due to so many people waiting their turn to have their passports checked and stamped.
All in all it would have been quicker to have picked up our luggage upon arrival at Schiphol, go through customs, check in for our flight to copenhagen and go through customs from the departure hall but hindsight is a very smart thing indeed.
I'm pleased we didn't booked the first flight to Copenhagen because I don't think we could have made it....