Old Jul 2, 17, 6:38 am
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: In between BRU, AMS, DUS and LUX...
Programs: AF/KL Plat, BA Gold, TK Silver, IHG Platinum, MR Gold, HH Gold, A-Club Silver, Hertz PC
Posts: 724
Chapter 1 : Will I make it to Tokyo ?

The flight I booked (QR276) started to operate only a couple weeks before my travel date, 3 times a week only. Since I never transited in DOH, and had a relatively short connection (1 hour 10 min), I started to study a couple days before travelling the ontime performance of this flight. I know that historical data will not predict future delays, but… It appeared that most of the flights arrived in DOH with slight delays, but sometimes with delays close to 1 hour. So I was getting prepared to ask the ground staff in DOH to reroute me via HKG or KUL (only options with seats still available before departure) to make sure I would make it to Japan that particular day. Inbound flight QR275 to AMS was ontime. A first good sign.

Once I arrived at the airport, I headed straight to the check in row 26 from where QR operates. The check in process was smooth and took 2 minutes at the business class counter and since I was travelling only with a carry on luggage, the latter was tagged as such by the agent. I then headed upstairs to security where another million people was waiting.

Fortunately, since I was in business class (not sure OneWorld Emerald status would have gave me this privilege) I could make good use of the fast track where only a few other passengers were in line. AMS now uses the body scanner technology to clear passengers and this, somehow created a delay in some security lanes. The passport control after security was fairly smooth, with less than 3 min waiting time. All together, the security and passport clearance took 20 minutes (My toiletries bag had to go to secondary screening).
The lounge QR uses in AMS is the Aspire lounge 42, just next to the BA lounge. Ultimately, one could also use the BA lounge, as both QR and BA are Oneworld members, but since I arrived at the closing time of the BA lounge (21:00), I used the crowded and mediocre Aspire lounge, where I surprisingly managed to find a seat next to a window, overlooking the piers D and E of AMS.

There was litterally nothing very exciting about this lounge that evening. There were no glasses anymore, the beverage selection was very poor, the Heineken tap was empty, the liquor bottles were empty, the buffet consisted into a burned « tabouleh » salad and some undetermined mini-feuilletés. A few cold cuts were also available (vegetables and gouda cheese). There are some toilets within the lounge (even if there was a important queue that evening), a shower and smoking facilities. Most of the passengers were actually flying on the Eva Air or Emirates flight so 20 minutes after I arrived, the lounge started to get less crowded.

I personally think that AMS lacks of an interesting lounge.

Considering this is a business class lounge, I would rate it as following :
Aspire lounge Amsterdam Schiphol (non-Schengen area)
Buffet area / F&B selection : D
Seating available : C
« Clean and comfy » : D
Extra amenities : C
Overall ranking : C-.
This was one of the worse lounges I visited in the past year, and clearly not in par with the expectations one may have when flying QR.

I did not really stay long in this aspire lounge, and decided to head straight to that evening departure gate, F6, located about 10 min away.

The gate area was already quite crowded with some passengers waiting in line for boarding.

But the boarding eventually started 15 min later, when one of the gate attendants came to me personally, to tell me to board (she must have recognized the burgundy colored carry on tag, suggesting I was travelling in C). It was 21.53. 2 jet bridges were connected to the aircraft and business class passengers were invited to use the first one.

Last edited by palmanfr; Jul 2, 17 at 3:21 pm Reason: missing pictures
palmanfr is offline