Sunday, March 23, 2014

Great Flight on Delta - KLM from Amsterdam to Boston

Yesterday I got up at 3AM (Swedish time) since I had an early flight from the Landvetter Airport in Gothenburg, Sweden and wanted to make sure that I would not miss my taxi to the airport that was graciously arranged for me through Gothenburg University's Visiting Professorship Program.

I had been in Sweden for ten days and will be posting some photos in the next blogspot.

The flight from Gothenburg to Amsterdam Schiphol was smooth although I sympathized with the crying baby behind me (thanks for my noise blocking headseats purchased in Sweden).

After a several hour layover in Amsterdam, during which I managed to purchase lots of chocolates and have a nice coffee break, we boarded the flight to Boston. Security was thorough with every passenger being personally interviewed.

My seatmate with the window seat was a tall Dutchman who has a PhD and an MD, and who is also a professor at the University of Amsterdam, where I have several friends. He was traveling to a conference in Boston (at the Sheraton hotel) of world burn specialists and surgeons. I could not have had a more interesting seatmate and we have exchanged messages since we landed. Truly inspiring the work that he does to save lives and he will be flying back to do surgeries scheduled for this Tuesday!

The food was great on the flight - one of my favorite airplane meals is the cold chicken salad that Delta serves on this flight and I got the last one (did talk with the stewards before the flight to tell them about how much I liked this meal). It was accompanied by cantaloupe and pink grapefruit and was so fresh and delicious. Dessert consisted of chocolate biscuits and our snack just before landing was a type of calzone with veggies and a small ice cream sundae.

Also, during the flight, while standing and doing stretches, I met a female chemistry professor from the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands who was going to another conference in Boston on nuclear magnetic resonance, which is taking place at the new Westin Waterfront hotel where, coincidentally, I will be next Sunday through Tuesday for the INFORMS Analytics conference. She is expecting her third child in July and we had a nice conversation on work-life balance and parental leaves in Sweden, Holland, and the U.S.

My burn specialist colleague told me that there were at least 3 of his colleagues going to his conference in Boston including an intensive care physician. Luckily, however, there was no call needed for a doctor on the plane! He told me that it can be very tricky to respond to such a request.

There were a lot of brains on that flight but not so unusual given that Boston and Massachusetts, in general, are quite centers of the academic universe!

Thank you, Delta and KLM, for such an enjoyable flight. Some of my fellow travellers hope that we encounter one another on a future flight of yours.

Nice when it's not just about the destination but the journey itself is such a pleasure!

However, the shuttle ride from Logan to Amherst was not very smooth since as we left Logan we saw the tunnel under the Prudential Center stuffed with cars with red backlights and my driver did a quick maneuver.

We had to take the Mystic Parkway through Arlington (rather than the MA turnpike) and then ended up taking Route 2 back to Amherst (a journey that took about 40 minutes longer than expected).

Upon arriving in Amherst my husband told us that there was construction in the tunnel with the ceiling being replaced. Hence, the congestion!