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Marine Drive, Mumbai India
Gateway to Europe and America!
Apr 19, 2002 04:42 PM 8338 Views
(Updated Apr 19, 2002 04:42 PM)





If you are like me who enjoys travelling, than you are bound to be a connosieur of inflight service memories, customs and immigration checkpoints and ofcourse the hub that houses all--Airports.

I have travelled through several dozen airports (the nature of my work requires it) and have often admired, praised some airports while complained and moaned about majority of them which are sub-standard and poorly designed.

While none of the airports in India are even close to being a decent airport, I have no hesitation in recommending some of the finer ones which I have personally travelled through or to.

A recent trip of mine, took me to the United States and my connection was from Amsterdam the beautiful and famous city in the heart of Europe, on two ocassions,



The runway of Amsterdam airport is one of the smoothest in the world and I am NOT exaggerating. The flight landed and I did not even realize it. No bumps and no major vibrations. Infact so smooth was the landing of the aircraft that I did not even realize that my seat belt was not.

Terminal Building:


Now you gotta read this. It's interesting! Amsterdam airport is one of the world's largest SINGLE terminal building In common parlance, what this means is you do not have to change terminals for your connection, nor do you have to take a bus or train to reach the arrival hall or passport control. You just keep walking on bright, well-lit, immensely clean, well maintained terminal.

The terminal is divided into 4 section, A through D and depending which section you are on, the distance between two sections could be anywhwere from 2 minutes to 12 minutes of walking time.

The airport management has even taken the pains to calculate the time it will take to reach from one gate # to another gate #!!!and this is well publicized.

Obviously some sections are busier than the other one's, but you will find plenty of people and travellers to make sure that you are not lost in this beautiful airport.

Duty Free and Food Area:


Section A has a mid size duty free area, with world class shops selling perfumes, colognes, wines, cigarettes. If you are travelling within the European Union or you are an EU citizen, irrespective of the passport you hold, you will be charged the VAT on every purchase. However, if you are flying out to a non-European zone, you are entitled to a NO VAT price...the Duty free price.

If you have an hour or so to spare, do check out the multitude of brands and variety of colognes and perfume at a very reasonable price.! I did my share of cologne and perfume purchase:-) But am still open to receiving gifts from you, if you ever decide to bring me something from Amsterdam!

Next to the Duty Free section on a mezzanine level are dozens of food counters, selling everything from McDonalds to Pizza Hut to Fish and Chips and noodles. Try them if you are hungry and can't wait any more.

Airport Security:


Nobody has mentioned about airport security in any reviews written on various airports, on Mouthshut. I guess, post all this threat and terror and tumult of hatred, it's important to discuss this.

Amsterdam is pretty tough when it comes to security. Metal detectors and X-ray screening is compulsory at all locations inside the airport. And if you are boarding a flight to the United States, Amsterdam airport security will interview you for 2-3 minutes--just that extra precaution:-)

These guys who manage their security will show you their finest manner and accord you their highest respect, something which the counterparts at Indian airports need to borrow!

To make long things short--


Amsterdam Airport is huge and simple. Being the global hub and home base of KLM, it offers hundreds of connections to Europe, Asia and America. Decent staff and concerned management makes sure that infrastructure and service receive top commitment.

Next time if you have a choice of transit--make it via Amsterdam's Schipol Airport.

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Schiphol Airport:Amsterdam