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A Couple of Questions

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Mount Dora, Florida
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for Istanbul
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A Couple of Questions

I apologize for asking questions which I am sure have been answered. I have spent an hour trying to locate up-to-date information. So, I am being a little lazy. We have two long lay-overs in AMS. On one lay-over we arrive at 6am and leave at 8pm. I am hoping we can store our carry-on luggage and use public transportation to go into town.

1. First Question: What type of visa do we need in order to leave the airport? Where do we get this visa? What is the cost?

On our second lay-over we arrive at 7:30pm and depart at 10:50am. I would like to stay in the most convenient hotel possible. TA indicates that the Mercure Schipol Hotel is located right in the airport, thus eliminating the need to catch a shuttle.

2. Second Question: The reviews of this hotel are unclear. Is the hotel located airside or do we have to exit through immigration and customs to reach the hotel? I am hoping that I can just leave my arriving plane, go directly to the hotel and then just wake up and go to the departure gate for our flight to the US. Does the forum have any recommendations for this hotel? Would we be happier taking a shuttle to an off-airport hotel?

We spent a bit of time in Schiphol last year, but had problems that diminished our ability to appreciate the airport. On our first layover we had to resolve a luggage issue. On our second layover we had a dreadful problem with wheelchair transportation for my husband. After those events I swore I would not go through this airport again. However, time dims the frustration, and this connection is $300 cheaper than the non-stop flight. My only other choice is a lay-over at CDG, which I find even more difficult than AMS.

I continue to read great things about this airport so I would like to give it another chance. I realize that problems are inherent in traveling.

Amsterdam, The...
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11. Re: A Couple of Questions

Wow Cecile - I never heard of that before! Thank heavens I've never had that experience at Schiphol !

They do seal it in the 'See Fly Buy' bags - and you're telling me security ignores these bags?

That's very disturbing for the Duty Free people I would say.

Regards - MMK

Amsterdam, The...
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12. Re: A Couple of Questions

They will never take stuff from you that has been sealed at Schiphol. The issue people have is when they bring stuff from places outside the EU (with the exception of approved airports such as Hong Kong or Singapore).

Busy Retired I remember that you had issues with the airport last year so I am glad you have put it down to experience and decided to give it another go. I hope it goes better for you this time.

For you hotel layover you might also consider the CitizenM just outside the terminal (about a 5 to 10 minute walk) or the Sheraton if you can afford it and not just limit yourself to airside hotels (also the Yotel is airside).

Canada
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13. Re: A Couple of Questions

I do not really understand why someone would select a route that saves only $300 but ends up with staying overnight in a hotel that will cost at least $150?

Sometime convenience especially for someone in a wheelchair has to take precedence over $

Dallas, Texas
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14. Re: A Couple of Questions

mathlady, to each their own. Also it may work out best for some to split up a long journey with a stopover. I know I do if I have to travel over 15 hours flying.

Mount Dora, Florida
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15. Re: A Couple of Questions

Thank you for all of the helpful information. I am certainly going to try and get a sealed bottle of water. I do not want to get water on the plane because I do not know where it comes from. I prefer to buy bottled water in the hope that it has been filtered.

I did see a couple who lost two very good bottles of wine at the security check at the gate of our flight, but they were not sealed in any type of bag. I rarely buy alcohol at the duty free shops, but when I have it has been delivered to me by the duty free shop at the entrance to the jetway. I do not know where these people purchased their wine.

@mathlady, I am not sure I need to explain my travel budget, but this is our situation. There are two of us flying, so a savings of $300/person is a total of $600 measured against a hotel charge of $150. So even assuming the schedule causes us to stay a night in Amsterdam I still save $450, which pays for almost a week's worth of meals in Istanbul. I will, however, have to sleep somewhere on the night we will be in Amsterdam. When I fly the non-stop from IST to JFK I spend the night near JFK, and it is no less expensive than the hotels at or near AMS. In fact, it has been more expensive than the rates quoted by the Mercure. So it is not really a question of spending an extra $150 on a hotel room because I will have a hotel room somewhere on my return to our home in Florida.

This is a great forum, and I have learned several things I probably would not have discovered anywhere else. I love TA forums when they work as well as this one does. I am probably going to bother you with another few questions since everyone is so well informed. Thanks again.

Orlando, Florida
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16. Re: A Couple of Questions

Not sure if you've had your trip yet but just to clarify. If you stay at the Mercure or Yotel, you stay airside, meaning you don't go through customs. So it would be just as you say - you leave your arrival gate and go directly to the hotel. Then you leave the hotel and go directly to your departure gate. I've not stayed at the Mercure but have used their pay showers after a long flight from Africa. The YOTEL is also an option, which books cubicle rooms (for one or two) with a minimum of 4 hours. I was going to use the YOTEL on my next trip when I had a 7 hour layover, just to shower and rest but now I've decided to stay an extra day and hopefully see the tulips. You should check out both. And then even on the day you want to head into the city, if for some reason you change your mind, you can get a day rate at the Mercure as well.

17. Re: A Couple of Questions

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