2022.12 German Christmas Markets (Part 14) – Flight Amsterdam to Toronto

Our time away on vacation was coming to an end.  We had a non-stop flight home with Air Canada, from Amsterdam to Toronto.  This was excellent because even with Little Miss starting to recover having no extra connections or silly flight routing on our way home to use up her energy.


Staying at a hotel that has a direct connection to the airport is a great feature.  We’ve stayed at similar places in Sydney, Calgary, and here in Amsterdam in 2019.  The only difference this time was that in 2019 we stayed at the Sheraton that might have saved us a few minutes of walking along the hallway between both hotels.

The walk from the Hilton hotel to Schiphol is covered, with multiple moving sidewalks available to speed up the walk.  Then you descend to Schiphol plaza, that is on the airport arrivals level.  Schiphol plaza truly has everything, multiple restaurants, fast food (if you don’t want to sit down), many store for last minute gifts, and a grocery store (Albert Hejin) for essentials.

Check-in is one level up from the plaza.  I don’t have pictures from check-in, however Air Canada is in Check-in Area 3.  We easily handed over our checked luggage, that had expanded from our many purchases and gifts from this trip.  With boarding passes in hand we made the walk over, and up another level to security.  Individuals who have priority screening, predominately business class passengers, are able to scan their boarding pass at a gate that then allows the passenger to skip almost all of the line before security.

This time was no exception, and we were through security quickly.  Passport control was busier, and after both of us had our exit stamp in our passport we entered the main terminal.  Unlike our departure in April, we headed to the contract lounge that was available to us — Aspire Lounge.

Aspire Lounge (non-schengen)

The lounge had two lines, one for business class passengers with invitations from the airline, and the second for all other users (I think this lounge is available through Priority Pass, or just paying a fee to enter).  We were able to enter immediately without a wait, and the lounge was busy.  The other line had fewer than 8 people in line waiting to enter.

We found a few open seats at the far end of the lounge, and best of all, they were right beside the windows!  I was able to spend some time watching the planes.

We then checked out the food options.  She was playing it safe, by selecting only a few items from the buffet.

I grabbed a croissant and made tea as well. 

I think the hot item that was available were pancakes.  We arrived while breakfast items were available, and I don’t recall returning to the buffet before we left, and don’t remember if they had setup for lunch when we left around 11am.

Also, I thought it was a bit early to have Heineken as a mid-morning drink.

We enjoyed our snacks, and I even watched our plane arrive from Toronto and taxi by to its gate. We left to give us lots of time to make the long walk to our gate.

Air Canada departs from one of the last piers at Schiphol, with the last pier used by low cost carriers, such as Easyjet.  During our walk we passed the main shopping area in the terminal, Holland Boulevard.

After a while the crowd thinned out, with no more shops, our walk continued.

Flight, Amsterdam to Toronto (AMS to YYZ)

Boeing 787-8, AC827
Scheduled departure: 11:55
Scheduled arrival: 14:20
Seats 1K, 2K

We arrived at the gate where almost all seats around the gate were filled.  We arrived around 11:15am, and boarding commenced just before 11:30 where we were quickly on board and at our seats for the flight, 1 & 2K.  Wear and tear was evident at my seat. 

We settled in, and were offered pre-departure beverages.  Now, for the first time, in a while I didn’t leave myself notes about the flight.  No notes in my travel journal, and none in my phone either.  My saving grace is that the pictures have a time stamp. 😉

Pushback occurred largely on time, and I got one more view of the Hilton hotel during pushback.  Once the safety demonstration was complete.  We had the super long taxi to the runway that feels like it belongs to another airport.  Along the way we past another active runway that smaller planes for intra-European destinations.  Seeing the colours of the ITA (Italian) airways, highlight how very few airlines have colour on their aircraft anymore.  A fully painted blue paint easily stood out compared to the rest of the aircrafts.

We arrived at the runway by 12:20, and were cleared for take-out shortly.  Our climb out was slow and we passed through two layers of clouds, typical European cloud cover for winter time.  Once above the clouds, it was glorious to be filled with bright sun for the first time in weeks.  Beverage service began around 30 minutes after take-off.

Fifteen minutes later my appetizer arrived.  I found the salmon tasty.

For my main I ordered the beef filet, with potato wedges, green beans, and hiding under the potatoes, red peppers.

I must have enjoyed dessert as I didn’t take any pictures of it before I dug into them (within 90 minutes after take-off).  According to the menu, it was pear cake in addition to a cheese plate and fresh fruit selection.  The rest of the flight was smooth, uneventful while I enjoyed relaxing watching movies.

The snack before landing was a cold plate.  Again, the pumpkin salad wasn’t seasoned and tasted very bland.

Soon enough the descent into Toronto started, and shortly before landing I took this picture of Yonge Street looking north from highway 407.  We landed early.  Almost an hour early!  We touched down just after 1:30pm, and by 1:50pm I snapped this picture overlooking the international departure area as we started our long walk along the pier to get to customs and luggage claim.

Customs was a breeze as no other international or US flights had landed before we started our walk to customs. By 2pm we were waiting for our luggage.

Our luggage didn’t take and once all of it was on our cart it was time to head home.  Even being ill during the trip, it was great to get away and explore more Christmas markets in Germany.  During the ride home she did say “I’m good and don’t want to go to [Christmas] markets next year”.  That was okay as our next trip wasn’t far away — a first for me, a Caribbean cruise!

Explore other parts of this trip:

Part 1 – Air Canada Signature Class Lounge & Flight Toronto to Amsterdam

Part 2 – Doubletree Hotel by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal Station

Part 3 – DB ICE Train Amsterdam to Dusseldorf

Part 4 – A Christmas market in the countryside

Part 5 – Hampton Inn by Hilton, Berlin West (Zoo Station)

Part 6 – Lego Berlin and other stores

Part 7 – Berlin Christmas Markets

Part 8 – Hilton Dresden

Part 9 – Dresden Christmas Market

Part 10 – Nuremberg Christmas Market

Part 11 – Nuremberg Hampton by Hilton

Part 12 – Doubletree by Hilton Frankfurt Niederrad

Part 13 – Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Part 14 – Schiphol Aspire Lounge & Air Canada flight Amsterdam to Toronto (this post!)

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