Sunday, December 4, 2011

Flying to My Idaho Home

The whole schnaa of living on two continents is pretty romantic until it comes to the commute. Like me, the trip is long, but unlike me, it is not short.

In Zurich, the trip started out a little rough. But if things get rough, I’d much prefer to be in Switzerland than any other place. The Swiss know how to put things right.

Some background: When Mom made our airline reservation, Delta confirmed that I was scheduled to fly onboard, in the cabin. They said Mom didn't need a printed receipt with the words, “Pet Approved In Cabin.”

The first segment of our three-leg trip, ZRH>AMS, was code-shared with KLM. At the Zurich airport, the KLM agent said that our pet-in-cabin reservation was not confirmed on the second segment, AMS>SEA, which was our Delta segment. Mom was unconvinced; however, the agent said she couldn't let Mom and me onboard until we confirmed with Delta. The agent also said we should have a printed receipt for my reservation, and Mom tried to explain that Delta had said that a printed receipt was not needed, that we were "in the system," and that they didn't provide those receipts for pets.

Mom is unfailingly polite when we travel because like me she has good breeding, but she was scratching her wrist under the counter. This fall, I heard her make four different phone calls to Delta to confirm that I would be traveling with her on this ticket. I wanted to bark at the lady behind the counter to tell her about those calls, but, actually, she was very nice and exceedingly helpful. She didn't want us to get stuck in Amsterdam if my pet reservation was not confirmed. She was trying to do the right thing.

In any case, I am a great big fan of KLM's customer service. The check-in agent called me the "Morning Star". Once onboard our KLM flight (yes, Delta said my reservation for all legs was most definitely confirmed!), the KLM flight attendant asked Mom, “How’s Tootsie? Is she comfortable? Do you two need anything?” I could hear her even from inside my transcontinental house under the seat.

Amsterdam is the most wotten-waven place to transfer: 1.) A security guard escorts me while Mom goes through the radiation tank, and all while fawning over me; it makes me feel like a rock star; 2.) there’s a roof garden, where you can view airplanes, and I get to walk outside of my house on astro-turf (I don’t potty because, duh, I can tell the difference between astro-turf and grass)*;

and 3.) I love reading all the place names where people are traveling to and from. You don't see names like Marsa Alam, Hurghada, Humberside, Tenerife, or Almaty in most US airports.

There was also a flight to Sharm El Sheikh, a major resort in the Sinai peninsula of Egypt and the city where Hosni Mubarak fled when his regime fell. And it’s fitting to see this place name in a week that Egyptians turned out in huge numbers to vote.

*By the way, if you are traveling through Amsterdam, the Airport Park and roof garden is located near the KLM Lounge, at the start of the D concourse. You’ll need to visit before Passport Control, if you are traveling to the States, or after Passport Control, if you are traveling from the States.


  1. I forwarded this to my friends who lived in Amsterdam with their dog. Who knew that it's such a great airport even for the four-legged ones? I must find an excuse to go there again...

  2. It's definitely a great place! Keep on wagging!!!


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