Layover tourism

I have a 12 hour layover in Amsterdam on route to Istanbul this Spring. I want to use this time to visit Germany. Is it unreasonable to expect if I decide to extend my layover (deliberately miss flight) the airlines will give me much grief? For instance, would I be charged or just put on the next available flight free? Thanks

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
576 posts

If you miss a flight through your own choice you are out of luck. No refund. They will only put you on the next flight they can if it's their fault you missed a flight.
And if you miss a flight that is part of your full ticket, they will likely cancel the remainder of your journey, with no refund.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10888 posts

Larry is correct. Under the best of circumstances and with an extremely good story you MIGHT be allowed to continue for a change fee but it is not a risky I would to take. In these days of high security the airline take a very dim view of people getting off plane at inbetween stops. They worry that you may have left something behind. Very dumb idea.

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1562 posts

If you have twelve hours why not spend day in Amsterdam. Under no circumstances should you deliberately miss your connection. As others said, you very likely not have any chance of rebooking and could lose the return flight as well.

Posted by Brandon
Lansing, Mi, 48912
6 posts

Thanks for the advice. I suppose I am just a little too ambitious :)

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

Take the 20 minute ride into Amsterdam on the train. Then just walk around the city and enjoy the day. It's a great city to walk in, or even to take trams from neighborhood to neighborhood.
And look for those little shops on side alleys selling a frozen custard that tastes like it's all cream. The cones of fried potatoes are also great. If you even had time to go to Germany, it would look just like the Netherlands until you get down to Cologne. It's all on The Rhine River.

Posted by Brandon
Lansing, Mi, 48912
6 posts

Sounds good David, thank you. It was indeed my intention to visit Cologne. It appeared the trip would only be around four hours. I was hoping I could perhaps pay just like an extra $100 bucks to get me back on my flight schedule the following day. Also, does anyone have a feel how lengthy the customs process would going through the airport? With US Visa is it a process to travel between EU countries? Thanks

Posted by Larry
Elkins Park, PA
576 posts

Since a tram ride was suggested, here's an idea for an Amsterdam layover I've not seen suggested here.
Take the "other" train from Schiphol to Amsterdam Zuid (South, cost and time are the same as to Centraal). From there take the number 5 tram north into town -you can get off at the Museumplein and start walking north, or take it further to Leidseplein. Anyway, walk on north to Centraal Station, as leisurely as time allows, and this way you get neighborhoods, canals, and the city. From Centraal, trains are very 10 minutes and take 18 minutes back to Schiphol.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7683 posts

"with a US Visa..." Do you mean with a US passport? There are no official border crossings, like in the old days, when you travel between EU countries, if that is what you are asking.

Posted by Brandon
Lansing, Mi, 48912
6 posts

Yes, my correct US passport. I plan on traveling between Turkey and Greece. Do you need to show passport at each crossing? I know Turkey required a VISA "sticker"

Posted by Michael Schneider
New Paltz, NY
6840 posts

"...In these days of high security the airline take a very dim view of people getting off plane at inbetween stops. They worry that you may have left something behind. Very dumb idea..." It has absolutely nothing to do with security concerns. By blowing-off your connecting flight, you doing a "stopover" which is prohibited with advance-purchase restricted tickets. This has been the case pre/post 9/11. If you want stopover privileges you have to purchase a full-fare ticket.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
7683 posts

Turkey is not in the EU, so yes, you would have to show your passport when traveling from Greece to Turkey.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

Whether or not there is a passport check between countries is not about their EU status. It's about agreements between countries to have abolished border controls. A bunch of European countries are part of the Schengen Agreement, which means there are no formal border controls between them (they reserve the right to check any time, however). England and Ireland are in the EU, but are not Schengen countries; Norway and Switzerland are not in the EU, but are Schengen countries. Turkey is neither EU nor Schengen. If you hold a US passport, you get a visa (a sticker in your passport, as you say) for $20 US cash dollars at the border. And yes, do NOT deliberately miss any part of your flight itinerary. The airline WILL cancel the entire rest of your itinerary, and you will have to purchase new, last minute tickets at full price. As Michael says, the airlines have been doing this for years to prevent anyone from getting a bargain they don't want you getting. For instance, when I went from New York to Moscow through Stockholm on SAS, it was cheaper than just going from New York to Stockholm on SAS. So, once upon a time, a traveler would book the trip through Stockholm to Moscow, then just discard the STO-SVO ticket segments. Once the airlines realized people were doing this (domestic and international), they put a stop to it. So, use your 12 hours to visit Amsterdam, not Germany.

Posted by Brandon
Lansing, Mi, 48912
6 posts

Thanks everyone for your immediate responses. Your feedback enables me to have a safe and enjoyable first visit to Europe!

Posted by Terry kathryn
Ann Arbor, Mi
2612 posts

Why not call the airline and ask what the charge would be if you took a longer layover in Amsterdam. I have done this frequently, however usually when I book the flight. If you booked on miles it might be a minimal charge.