Our lovely daughter, Transavia | Pillar Jan

If you live and work during these days, you are entitled to holiday. At least that’s how it feels. That right, complemented by an irresistible urge to make new discoveries, makes us embark on a journey. And preferably by plane, because you don’t want to be stranded in Brasschaat because your gas budget is exhausted. In this case, it became one of our daughter Transavia.

This year’s wish list is an old familiarity. A lovely place in warm Greece. Not on an island, for that is where the rest of Holland lies, but against a mountain, near the place where Zeus once ruled. Not a crazy god, by the way, that Zeus, because the location of his mountain is really perfectly chosen. High, but not too much, beautiful powder snow in winter if he wanted to cross-country ski with Aphrodite. In the summer cool at the top and with little effort, take the Nike wagon down for a round of snorkelling with Artemis or Medusa. The latter always had his air hose and a few spare parts with him. Useful.

To get there, you can drive the 6,000 kilometers round trip by car. It will take you almost a week if you don’t want to arrive completely stressed. You also have to spend 6 nights on 100 Euri and refuel a liter or 500. Cost: soon about 2,000 sis for two people. And then you actually have nothing. Arrange accommodation, provisions for the road and a whole lot of other things.

No, so for 495 euros per person, for two weeks, everything arranged and flying to the destination within three hours. Sounds much more appealing, right? It becomes even more fun when you realize that you can fly with our green-flagged daughter Transavia. As a father, you naturally hold your own blue roots the most, but as soon as you pass the baton on to your daughter, you also wish her the best and more. And… she makes it happen.

It always makes me happy when I can travel with her. I choose the quietest day (Tuesday) because I don’t want to end up in security risks, luggage bumps, staff shortages and hassles. In addition, I choose a time when only my flight leaves. All other 25 subsidiary flights on that day are almost in Greece by that time, but then I should have been out of bed at 02.00. And I hate that so much.

When you arrive at Schiphol, check-in goes smoothly. There is no one at the check-in counter, not even staff, but with a little ingenuity we dump the suitcases into the check-in machine and continue within five minutes. DIY. Delicious. Then to the dreaded line for security. At least if I can believe TikTok. It’s busy, but it’s running. Another five minutes later we are on the mezzanine where the check takes place. Bumping through 6 bank lines, then a corridor and another five ensures we easily get our 10,000 steps today. We keep running into the same people in the opposite row and decide to have a chat. A new form of conversation with always a bit of text gives obvious corniness. Among other reasons, we are suddenly faced with the extremely friendly security staff, who handle us problem-free and professionally. Exactly 75 minutes after arriving at Schiphol, we are at the magazine kiosk. We can take it easy for another 2.5 hours. And nice planes… So it can be done that way.

Our Transavia plane is at the gate on time, the crew is already there before check-in time and we can already see the luggage arriving. Boarding will follow shortly. A point of caution here: If you pay extra to be the first to board, of course you need to make sure that those passengers can also board first. That emitter is left out, so the guarantee that your carry-on (part of the deal) can enter the cabin is up in the air. It makes me restless. Should I say anything about it? Because I remember how things work at the gate and the pressure that sometimes puts on the boarding process, I don’t want to bother my colleagues with this. But it is a deception of the ‘little luxury bought concept’. Next time I will use the euros spent on a sandwich on board.

For a reasonable amount, we chose seats with legroom. With very long legs and a short torso (for the visually inclined; ridiculous) it’s a must. Our daughter’s crew is friendly, firm and experienced. No unnecessary frills and just relax. Eating on board is a celebration: for years a standard menu of simply tasty sandwiches, snacks and drinks. And yes, you have to pay for that. But I prefer it 10x more than a ‘free’ Aldi sandwich with grated cheese and a 100cc cup of water that some companies dare to offer you.

The air is stable (even over the Alps). It’s like sliding on a pool table. Without any ripples we land on time in the second city of Greece. We dive into the heat and find our luggage already on the belt. Transavia has arranged it well!

In the past, our daughter has taken us to more exciting places where the runways were super short. Chios for example (1,500M). Just before landing, the captain informs us of the steep approach route, shortly over a mountain, with a lot of crosswind. Pants crap moment. Can’t say anything else. Especially when you hear the ‘terrain’ messages from the plane in the front row… Or Samos, the neighboring island (2,000M). A little more space here, but still a short job. And Skiathos (1,600M) remains an experience with a short turn before landing and a steep runway. The Transavia pilots do anyway. Respect and trust. And another 180 seemed safe on the ground.

Transavia 737 at Skiathos © GreatFlyer

Return home after two weeks and the process repeats itself. Again on time, a pleasant crew, a spacious seat, again no prio-boarding (for a bus…..dûûûh). A screaming baby next to me, cozy! (I really don’t care, the banging. I can’t get over it, we’ve all been little). With a lot of ‘agoedjiegoedjiegoe’ and a good laugh, the youngster falls asleep just fifteen minutes before landing in Amsterdam. Me too.

Baggage collection (everything is there) takes 45 minutes, so Viggo has also done well here. Then we are outside again. It is five o’clock and reasonably quiet at Schiphol. Boring maybe, but social media won’t give me juicy stories of horrors, heated staff and angry customers. In fact, everything went as it should. So it is definitely possible.

Thanks Transavia, you make your dad proud.

Jan Morren

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