A few weeks ago we reported in our weekly news the arrival of the world’ first airport self-serving banner printing machine at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (IATA: AMS). According to the Reuters report then the airport has the world’s first vending machine capable of printing out personalised giant canvas banners in just a few minutes. Apparently you can pick your message, whether that is “Mama = sweet” (as pictured), “I love you”, “Will you marry me?”, or anything else that makes you stand out from the crowd, choose the font and background design, pay between four and 15 euros ($19.98) depending on the length of the banner, and hit the button.
Reading a press release and seeing it in action are often two things, so ever since we read that story we wondered how this service really worked and – in true LateDeparture style – we didn’t rest until we got hold of a video proof of the ingenious machine.
While the video is in Dutch, the lovely guys at Schiphol provided us with English subtitles. But who cares anyway as pictures speak a million words:
Case rested. We now we only wonder who will be first to print out a large “LateDeparture.com rocks!” banner? Whoever it is, a fabulous prize will be awaiting them (photo proof required)…
[Pictures and video from Schiphol Airport – all rights reserved]
This week has been a fairly quiet week in airport news terms. Nevertheless we still found few very interesting stories all the way from Amsterdam, Arkansas and Belgrade for you. They even all have one common theme – can you figure it out?
Surely you heard about the biggest snowfall in England in 18 years on Monday (news stories here and here). Coincidently I traveled that day from Tanzania back to London through Amsterdam. Not surprising that our connecting KLM flight to London Heathrow therefore received a lengthy delay of almost 6 hours (kudos to KLM though who were quick to organize a Boeing 747 bundling several London flights into one). This was time enough to have a really good look at what Amsterdam Schiphol (IATA: AMS) has to offer.
In summary, Schiphol offers a lot. Of course, you find the usual things like Duty Free Shops, Cafés, Burger joints and bars. But Schiphol goes further, a lot further actually: You can find everything from a full Casino in the main terminal, a branch of the famous Rijksmuseum with a drawing from Rembrandt among the display to one of the Yotel chains that offer affordable, modern rooms for as short as 4 hours.
But even if you are just looking for a quick refreshment, Schiphol has it: you will find shower cabins in the toilets in front of the First Aid on the first floor of the main hall, between the airport lounges 41 and 42. There, you also find comfort seats for you to rest from your busy travelling life. And if you need refreshment for your stomach, try the noodle soup (€15) at “Noodles” next to the T5 transfer desks.
Finally, even the usually from airports banned smokers will like the Dutch version as there is a smokers cell room on the first floor next to the airport lounge 42. However, if you are looking for a typical Amsterdam coffee shop you are out of luck unless you book one of the Holland Tours directly from the airport and make it into the city (disclaimer: I am not suggesting anything here! ;-)).
Now to the tricky part, the Top-5: I really had to think about it hard this time as there are so many things you can do – here are my favourite five:
Visit the Rijksmuseum branch and find the Rembrandt drawing
Eat a pot of pork noodle soup at “Noodles”
Buy some Dutch cheese from the Delikatessen shop (alternatively, buy some famous Dutch liquorish)
Count how many Dutch, blond ladies you see that are over 1.90m tall (6’3″) – trust me you need more than one hand to count them!
Try to find Starbucks (remember, the Berlin task?) – it’s not that tricky here, but you may need some time depending on your destination (this is already a hint)…