Bergen, Norway, then Home    

Friday/Saturday, 4/5 August 2023

We arrived in Bergen on Friday morning. The weather was good for Bergen… overcast, chilly but no rain! Nonetheless, as I was feeling a little off-colour (cabin cough) we decided that, as we’d been here twice before and the weather wasn’t that special, we’d spend the day onboard.

It worked out to be a good choice. A relaxing morning, lunch, plenty of time to sort out the packing in the afternoon which allowed for the opportunity to enjoy the ship’s facilities during the evening.

Our airport transfer on Saturday morning was at stupid o’clock (6:45am) and, as is always the case when contingency is built into timings, we arrived at the airport an hour before check-in opens.

Bergen Airport (BGO) has become a nightmare of automation. Self check-in to get boarding passes & luggage tags - it doesn’t like the passes sent by KLM via WhatsApp, so hunt for your passport.  Machine #2 scans luggage tags which you’ve attached and it takes the bags. One at a time!

At entry to security, another piece of AI wants to have another look at the passports and boarding passes so that, eventually, you can make your way to the gate… seating for 100, passengers on flight? 250!

Things have gone downhill at Schipol (AMS) as well. They’ve finished the construction work, adding even more distance from gate to gate in zone D. That now has 98 gates.

KLM’s Crown Lounge 52 has gone the extra mile (downhill!) on automation. It has robots hunting around, stopping near you and asking if you have any dirty glasses or plates to return in a metallic accent reminiscent of Daleks threatening to “exterminate”. 

Still, who can ever expect air travel to improve over time. The airlines are in a race to the bottom, cutting costs and KLM is no exception.

Back home by 6pm Saturday having had one of the best cruises in many a year.