Archive for the Global Entry Category

Delta Airlines Amsterdam (AMS) to Boston (BOS), April 2011

Posted in Airlines, Amsterdam, Delta, Global Entry, Trip Report with tags , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2011 by getgowing

The previous posts of this quasi-‘Round the World adventure:

Delta Airlines
Flight #231
Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) – Boston Logan (BOS)
April 12, 2011
Departure:  11:04 (Scheduled 11:10)
Arrival:  13:20 (Scheduled 13:00)
Duration: 8’16”
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Seat: 12A (Economy class)
Miles flown including this flight: 7,139

View from my window. Those turbine engines look REALLY big from here.

This was a fairly standard economy flight.  There were individual TVs for each seat, but because I stayed up all night, I was using this flight as my time to sleep.  So when I woke up at around 1pm in Boston, for my body, it would be like sleeping in late.  Even though the other two slept, they were pretty tired too and we all pretty much slept the whole way.  The main thing that I remember from this flight is the food service.  I think it was lunch.

Bread & butter, salad, balsamic vinegar, cheddar cheese & crackers, chocolate chip & vanilla biscuits

Main entree: Chicken and rice with yellow sauce and vegetables

I feel I’m a pretty adventurous eater.  This entree was probably the most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten.  The vegetables were fine, but the sauce had this weird taste that made it difficult to put the food down.  I was soooo hungry though that I did eat almost all of it.  (If you’ve ever had a meal with me, I HATE wasting food.  Even if its something I don’t like, I’ll still eat it.  If you have some food left on your plate, I sometimes eat that too.  I used to be a waiter, and it sucked throwing away almost full plates of food.)  If you’re ever flying Delta trans-Atlantic, you may want to steer clear of this food choice.  Take the other.  Thankfully I was able to fall asleep again after eating that horrific meal.

A few hours later, I was nudged awake to be served our pre-arrival snack.

Pizza and ice cream

Of course, the pizza sucked.  They were microwaved warm, so the crust was chewy.  But after that awful chicken and rice, this was a 5-star meal.

The plane arrives at the gate a 20 minutes late, but its alright.  Our bus that takes us to New York leaves at 3:30pm.  We get herded to immigration, and its here where I get to try out Global Entry.  (One of the benefits of being an American Express Platinum card member.  Read about that benefit in this post.)  I go straight to the Global Entry kiosk, give my fingerprints, and voila I get my immigration & customs ticket.

Global Entry ticket

I don’t have to wait in line, no answering any questions, almost no interaction with any Border Patrol.  After I pick up my luggage, I just hand the customs agent this ticket, and I keep walking.  If you don’t have to wait for your bag, you could off the plane and out of the airport in less than 15 minutes.

For those that have never traveled internationally, as you exit the plane in a new country and are not connecting to another flight, you have nowhere to go but to immigration.  After that, you pick up your luggage, then wait in line again for customs questioning.  

Global Entry is definitely worth its 5-year fee of $100.  Even if I only flew internationally once a year, I would feel that $20 a trip could be worth it.  Maybe not in Boston, but arriving into JFK or LAX you could easily wait 30-60 minutes for immigration.  After a long haul flight, that’s the last thing I want to do (like we did in the Fast Track lane in LHR).

Getting home from Boston, we used Bolt Bus.  One way, its about $15, and takes 4 hours, more or less.  The seats are all leather, there are plugs at every seat, and there is wifi onboard.  Throughout the “flight” the wifi connection was pretty slow, but still better than nothing.  Definitely one of the best options if traveling between the major cities in the Northeast.  And its price is so much better than flying or Amtrak.  Transferring to Boston South Station is a 15 minute commute on the Silver Line on the T, and only about $2.  What I didn’t know was that the Silver Line is a bus, not a subway/metro.

Well my attempt to stay awake for the rest of the day failed.  Oh well.  After I arrive home, I have about 24 hours before I leave for the airport again to start my 11-day portion in Asia!

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