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BUD Airport departure. & AMS got better

My taxi picked me up at 3:25am and at 4:04am I am standing on the roof top observation deck after clearing security.

The Departure hall was the usual chaos as there are a number of flights out between 6 and 7am, but I didn't check a bag so I walked right past it. Got to security and it wasn't open yet, so walked down a long hall to the left of the check point to "the other" security check point that seems to be always open. Breezed through.

Ran into a RS person, or more accurately he turned around in a crowded area and whacked me and a woman with his very new looking Back Door Bag. Wearing backpacks indoors ought to be illegal. I get hammered at least once every trip.

Checked the board for my gate on the way up to the observation deck, but the notice said gate will be announced in 88 minutes. So I will stand here for a while, enjoy the cool air and watch the planes.

Got a bit chilly (yesterday I was in a t-shirt) so, on the same level as the observation deck is a food court that has a few places that open early and I now have a seat in a sports bar facing the boarding gate screen (53 min till they post the gate). Full English breakfast for the outrageous price of 4.100 ft. (About $10 + $2.50 for an Americano). Good staff, they remember me.

Posted by
1841 posts

Always nice when things go super smoothly. Congratulations. While you’re having a full English breakfast I just finished dinner here in California as it’s still Friday night.

Is BUD airport one big terminal? So once past security you can roam all around 2A and B? Where are you off to?

Safe and happy travels!

Posted by
18522 posts

BUD 2A is all Schengen flights. 2B is divided between Schengen and non-Schengen. Once you go through passport control for a non-Schengen gate you are trapped in that zone. Otherwise you can wander 2A and 2B all you want. My roof deck was in 2A and my flight was out of the 2B Schengen gates.

Terminal 1 is no longer used for commercial flights, and really isn't a "terminal", it's a separate airport a few km away.

GOOD NEWS

In Amsterdam all the self-serve passport control gates are open so getting through took 5 minutes. Gone is the chaos.

BAD NEWS

I have a 4 hour layover

The Full English Breakfast in AMS is $18.50 + $4.50 for an Americano. Nearly twice the cost of BUD.

Posted by
18522 posts

My flight out of AMS left 45 min late because someone checked a bag but did not get on the plane. We made up none of the late time in the 9.5-hour flight. Staff was polite. Food was the worst of any airline I have ever crossed the Atlantic on. Wine was free and unrestricted.
Knee space in Economy seemed larger than usual, and the seats went back far enough for a nice sleep. Movies were the worst I've seen in a long time. In flight WIFI not operational (8th KLM flight in a row it hasn't worked).

Oh, they "sized" the carryon. Many unhappy travelers. GOOD

Passport control in Austin took 3 minutes with global entry. No finger prints any more and no receipt. Just scan, smile and walk.

So, all in all, pretty okay trip from BUD to AUS. Repeats in about 60 days. But I will check Turkish Air out of Houston.

Posted by
11387 posts

Oh, they "sized" the carryon. Many unhappy travelers

How strict were they?

Was it weeding out the not really carry-on size stuff or just generating revenue?

Posted by
18522 posts

I think it was enforcing rules, particularly in view of a fairly full flight.

How strict? If it didn't fit, it got checked.

Nothing I saw got weighed, but with 12kg permitted, I don't think many were heavier.

Posted by
11387 posts

My bad-- didn't type out the question I had in my head, when asking about 'how strict'.

Did everybody have to put any/every carry on they had into a sizer, or were they targeting bags that looked like they might be a 1/4 inch over spec? Did First/biz class get the same treatment as coach?

Posted by
18522 posts

I didnt notice what first class did.

The bags I saw getting checked were visually obviously too large. I didnt get checked, but i got a quick look.

Posted by
246 posts

Whoa - Good News AMS -- Self-serve passport control -- do you know is this the same area for arrival from US/connecting to Budapest? That would be amazing -- many a times ...that chaos has cause squeeky close to missing a flight! Now I just book the longer lay over in AMS ...dang! Ha!

Posted by
18522 posts

I came into Budapest in early February and AMS was as it has always been. I departed a week ago and saw the improvement.

You are returning? Again?

Posted by
246 posts

I have 2 upcoming trips that will take me through AMS on both directions -- this coming week (but we are starting our adventure in Berlin and returning from Budapest) and then in late May when we fly into Budapest and return from Prague. AMS is our preferred routing for a few reasons but that passport control has always been chaos!! So excited for the changes!

Posted by
9 posts

Glad to hear that AMS is better than I heard. I just went from LAS > FRA > BUD > DEN > LAS two weeks ago on Lufthansa. Not a single positive thing to say about the experience. I purchased with Lufthansa but ended up on FinnAir, United, and Lufthansa. The food on FinnAir was inedible. After the FAs collected the meal trash I heard everyone around me talking about how none of us ate the food once we saw it. United's food was passable.

I avoided AMS because of what I was hearing, but next trip I will consider it.

Frankfurt is a terrible airport. I've only been through there twice and both times it was nothing but problems.

Is it just impossible to have a "good" airline experience anymore?

Posted by
18522 posts

Frankfurt was never that bad for me. There are worse (Chucky D and LHR for instance).

AMS was really a breeze last trip. Hope it stays that way because I have a 1:55 connection in about 6 weeks.

Everything about Lufthansa and United turns me off. From food to service to carry on restrictions.