The trip to Bremen that never was

Rob Halligan 03/08/2019 34comments  |  Jump to last

So here I am writing a story about my trip to Bremen, sitting in my lounge at home, having done a 12-hour excursion to Amsterdam airport and back.

I booked weeks ago to fly with KLM to Amsterdam on Friday 2 August, then catch a connecting flight to Bremen, which should have gotten me to Bremen about 9:30 pm. The plan was to meet mates already there and have a few pints.

I got to Manchester airport in plenty of time, cleared security relatively quick, and settled down with two San Miguel to watch a bit of The Ashes. Ever since booking the trip, my biggest fear was not making the connection, bearing in mind how big Schiphol Airport is. I had about 45 minutes between landing, and getting the connection.


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Anyway, after finishing my drinks, I checked the board, and horror, "Flight delayed by 40 minutes". I thought I had no chance of making the connection, and resigned myself to a night in Amsterdam and catch the first flight to Bremen on Saturday morning. Eventually, we took off 1 hour and 40 minutes late. The reason for the delay being our plane was delayed leaving Amsterdam due to severe weather conditions. My hopes were raised a bit, thinking my connection would also be delayed? How wrong I was: it was cancelled altogether.

Upon checking with the KLM information desk, all flights to Bremen on Saturday morning were fully booked. The only one offered to me was a flight to Munich, then all the way back up to Bremen, getting to Bremen well after kick-off. There was absolutely no point in going, so KLM got me a return flight back to Manchester. Having landed at Manchester about 11:15 pm, I had no way of getting home. The last train had well gone. I had no choice but to phone the missus who came and picked me up.

So here I am, now 13 hours later, sitting at home with my umpteenth can of Amstel. A great weekend totally ruined. KLM are going to get the complaint from hell, though I don't hold out much hope of anything.

So I will watch the match on Everton TV, and think of the great night I will miss in Bremen tomorrow night.

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Reader Comments (34)

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Matt Woods
1 Posted 03/08/2019 at 05:22:28
Sorry mate. Sickener. Let's hope we get our last transfer business sorted this week and put on a show for you down in South London next weekend. Top Blue.
Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 03/08/2019 at 05:29:28
Condolences on the end of your streak, my friend, but the weather is something beyond all our control. Even KLM's.
Jay Wood

3 Posted 03/08/2019 at 05:48:31
Strewth mate! Yer must 'ave killed a Chinaman' (as an old Aussie mate of mine is given to saying in his broad 'strine' when someone experiences bad luck).

That's your invite to next year's Finch Farm bash for all the amazing supporters who make every home and away game out of the window already - and we're just 3 days into August, Rob!

Real sickner, fellah. Give KLM hell when you get round to penning your letter of complaint. Work Koeman into it, too!

John Keating
4 Posted 03/08/2019 at 06:02:46
Shame there Rob.
You would have had a good time in Bremen too.

45 minutes to transit in Schiphol, well no chance really especially if the aircraft pulls up on the apron rather than the airport itself.

Really difficult I know that's why these days I travel the day before if I can't get a connection with a minimum 2 hour gap. Unless it's bloody Heathrow when you need at least a week to transit !!!!

Peter Warren
5 Posted 03/08/2019 at 07:51:23
Wow the lengths some our I’ve fans go to. Very sorry to hear.
Bob Parrington
6 Posted 03/08/2019 at 08:41:39
Tough time Rob. No point having a real go at KLM as the airlines are covered for weather conditions. Discussing it with them might be worthwhile as they might have a policy in such cases to offer discounts for another trip.

Just a thought. Did you consider the train once you'd reached Amsterdam? I've found the European train services very good.

Let's hope we're in for a great season!

Jeff Armstrong
7 Posted 03/08/2019 at 08:53:16
Sickener Rob, good luck with the plan to watch on Everton tv, it’s more unreliable than KLM!
Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 03/08/2019 at 09:02:55
Absolutely gutted for you Rob, losing your great appearance record through no fault of your own. It happened to my brother last Friday night, with his mates on the ale in Germany, and Ryan Air, cancelling his flight after he had been waiting in the airport for about seven hours.

Everton have got some absolute fanatics, who build their life around the club, and that’s why I’m gutted for you Rob, because I know you are one of these die-hards, who will still be fuming until you get on the train to London next week mate!

Jerome Shields
9 Posted 03/08/2019 at 09:09:22
That was a real nightmare.
David Pearl
10 Posted 03/08/2019 at 09:15:50
Crap luck Rob. Couldn’t you of got a train?
Anyway, let’s hope we win and score a hatful of goals to set us up for the season. All the best.
Rob Halligan
11 Posted 03/08/2019 at 09:33:26
To be honest I only thought about the train once I'd got home, as me head was completely cabbaged last night. I understand that severe weather conditions are not the airline's fault, safety always comes first, but KLM knew well in advance of my situation and could have booked me on the first flight out to Bremen this morning. That is of course, if there were any available seats. A quick check on the Munich flight then up to Bremen shows I would have arrived at Bremen at 15.40. Game kicks off at 15.00.

Anyway lads, thanks for your kind thoughts.

Peter Mills
12 Posted 03/08/2019 at 09:45:08
I have never met Mrs Halligan, but she sounds a kind, tolerant and understanding lady.
Derek Knox
13 Posted 03/08/2019 at 10:17:25
What a pity Rob, but nevertheless totally annoying when that sort of chain of non-events/delays combine to throw the well laid schemes of mice and men, aft agley!
Bill Watson
14 Posted 03/08/2019 at 11:39:52
Was Toni waiting, Rob?

Dave Williams
15 Posted 03/08/2019 at 11:48:01
This is the sort of dedication players need to be aware of when they take to the pitch for a game. Really feel for you Rob and hope you are compensated financially though that won’t mend your ruined weekend
Paul Birmingham
17 Posted 03/08/2019 at 17:34:22
Poxy weather and really bad luck Rob.

Let’s hope that during this season that good fortune will come soon to you as you’ve earned it.

I hope the club takes note of this and back you and both give KLM, hell to get some compensation.

In terms of the match, it seemed like the same old, same old, just like a week ago in Germany.

As it stands I can’t recall a preseason in recent decades when we’ve blanked in front of goal, so consistently.

Gerard McKean
18 Posted 03/08/2019 at 17:45:10
Same thing happened to my son, Rob; different airport but cleared customs only to waste a couple of hours sitting there before the flight was cancelled.

Any Amstels left over? I can be there in 10 minutes!

Rob Halligan
19 Posted 03/08/2019 at 17:48:39
Plenty Ged, and San Miguel and coors.
Clarence Yurcan
20 Posted 03/08/2019 at 21:49:01
Peter #12, ain't that the truth! My wife cheated on me, got impregnated with his baby, and left me high and dry for him
David Pearl
21 Posted 03/08/2019 at 21:51:55
Okay then.
Andy Crooks
22 Posted 03/08/2019 at 22:26:57
Rob, if that happened to me, I would spontaneously combust.
Nicholas Ryan
23 Posted 04/08/2019 at 05:15:46
Why don' t the Club charter a couple of planes, and sell the tickets on a 'not for profit' basis? They could make their money selling us overpriced snacks on the trip!
Matt Traynor
24 Posted 04/08/2019 at 06:12:57
#23 Nicholas, I'd rather they insourced things like matchday catering and merchandising before going into the travel agency business!

Seriously, airline chartering is a fraught business at the best of times, particularly with securing paths and landing rights etc. at foreign airports. Look at how many charter companies have gone tits up in recent years...

Feel for Rob though, and if that was a through-ticketed flight (which it sounds like it was), 45 minutes at Schipol is nuts. Surprised they sold it as a connection. I recall the trials and tribulations some of the fans faced getting to Kharkiv a few years back, when charters were cancelled due to being banned from flying to the local airport due to EU regs... the stories about the trip getting there were part of the "fun", along with an away win!

Simon Smith
25 Posted 04/08/2019 at 13:52:57
Could you not have rented a car? Only 3½ hours from The Dam to Bremen.

Shame anyway, though, mate.

Steve Ferns
26 Posted 04/08/2019 at 17:15:49
Gutted Rob.
Steve Bird
27 Posted 04/08/2019 at 17:30:03
That's shit mate, glad I never went now, would have been shite without you there to laugh at!! Seriously, that is utterly appalling by KLM, it must've been them flying Moise Kean to Finch Farm since Tuesday!!
Rob Halligan
28 Posted 04/08/2019 at 17:43:06
Steve, there was always Statler and Waldorf to poke fun at. You know who I mean!!
John Raftery
29 Posted 04/08/2019 at 19:17:12
Bad luck Rob. At the very least you should get your money back but that is no consolation. I know how you feel. As you know I was one of the 163 left stranded at Speke in 2005 after the airline running our flight to the Dinamo Bucharest match went bust the evening before. The fact we lost 5-1 was no consolation either.
Keith Harrison
30 Posted 04/08/2019 at 19:28:10
Methinks you're getting too much drink, Halligan!!

I am sure some hefty compensation, few cases of Stella, and England scoring the 386 needed to win tomorrow might just soothe you!! And missing Steve Birds awful jokes!!

Dermot Byrne
31 Posted 04/08/2019 at 19:57:00
Nic #23 what a great idea. So many would go with that and if they chartered a flight it could be even cheaper. Do we have a big enough Official Fans Group to do it. Would take a lot of organising so maybe as you say, the club could do it.
Erik Dols
32 Posted 05/08/2019 at 12:04:24
Hi Rob, sorry to hear that. Really a shame, Bremen is a nice city, would have been a great trip.

I have no idea what your stance on Brexit is, but currently UK is still in the EU and the EU has some very clear rules about delayed and cancelled flights - I think you are entitled to at least 250 euro.

I have experience with flights from KLM getting delayed and cancelled and to be fair, once I found and filled their online form, I received my compensation within a week or two.

See the link below. If you have trouble figuring it out, let me know and we can get in touch, as said to my regret I have experience in filling it out...

Rob Halligan
33 Posted 05/08/2019 at 12:27:25
Hi Erik. Really grateful for your help. I have already got the wheels in motion, using the exact same online complaints form you have shown. Best get these things done ASAP, and I have already been given some hope, with KLM saying there is a very good chance of a full refund as well as compensation. Once again though, thanks for your help.
Derek Knox
34 Posted 05/08/2019 at 16:24:26
Rob, not being funny or anything, but watched the game on beIN Sports, and there were loads of Blues fans there, eg, The Falcon, Kirkby. How did they all get there, and presumably back?
Rob Halligan
35 Posted 05/08/2019 at 17:04:39
Loads could have gone Thursday Derek. Or flew KLM but Friday morning and made a connection at Amsterdam before the weather conditions took over. Others may have gone Lufthansa to other parts of Germany and made a connection up to Bremen. There are various ways of getting there. I was just unfortunate that the weather took over when it did. I would have been ok coming back as planned, but unfortunately, as I say, the weather meant I was screwed for getting to Bremen well after kick off.

KLM have refunded the full cost of all flights and pre paid seats. I'm still waiting on any compensation offer.

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