Istanbul to Austin

After just 3.5 hours of sleep, we woke to the alarm at 3 am, got dressed and did some final packing. Once ready, we headed down with our 8 bags (2 of robot bodies, 1 of robot heads, 3 personal suitcases, and 2 backpacks). While waiting for the 3:30 am shuttle (TL10pp), another very-vocal cat approached us and we were glad to feed it some of our remaining treats. That is, until the hotel receptionist grabbed a stack of sliced meat prepared for the breakfast bar and started feeding the now extremely-excited cat!

Katie and the luggage was all that would fit in the elevator

Katie and all of our luggage (personal + 3 robot bags)

The airport shuttle showed up right around 3:30am as promised.  The driver was not excited to see our 8 bags, but he made room.  The shuttle picked up two more individuals from nearby hotels, and then we headed directly to the airport.

Check-in with KLM was not very smooth.  They did not have fragile stickers for the robot bags and – although we told them that the bags were fragile – they proceeded to throw them around right in front of us! They sent us across the way to an Air France desk to pay the TL300 for the two extra robot bags and then had us come back to the original desk.  Then they weighed our carry-on bags, just to find that the black roller suitcase that we had packed with electronics, lockum (Turkish Delight), and helva was 20kg – the heaviest bag that we had and supposedly over the weight requirements for a carry-on bag. Thankfully they did not make us pay another TL150 (~$100) to gate-check this bag, but we still had to gate-check it.

Our first flight from Istanbul to Amsterdam was fairly uneventful, besides us being asked to move from our 7th row seat to the exit row, as there were two non-English speakers sitting there.

Once in Amsterdam, the layover was about the perfect length for us. We were able to walk around the terminal and see the multitude of shops and variety of people travelling through the massive international terminal. After using the restroom, we arrived at our gate right as the previous flight was departing and they opened security to our flight. After being drilled about our trip and belongings and being full-body scanned, we settled into the lounge waiting for our flight to depart.

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