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Minimum layover time in Amsterdam

We will be connecting through Amsterdam on our way to Venice next fall. One flight we're looking at has a 50 minute layover: is that enough time to get through customs and get to our connecting gate?

Posted by
971 posts

We took that flight on Delta last month and it was tight, but we made it. Delta will tell you that it’s no problem because there are multiple passport control locations at AMS and so it doesn’t usually take as long to get through passport control and on to your next gate. That being said, if your flight lands even five minutes late then you probably won’t make it. It makes for a stressful morning with that tight of a connection for sure!

Posted by
9579 posts

Without trying to sound to know-it-all...you'll go thru Immigration in Amsterdam (movement of people) and Customs (movement of goods) in Venice.

This routing would make me nervous as heck. Any kind of glitch and your flight is missed. HOWEVER if you are going thru on one booked ticket (say Delta?) then they will rebook you on the next flight to Venice with space. That might be a KLM flight so I'd take a look at how many flights per day KLM (Sky Team Member) has to Venice.

Since April said they'd done this flight from Seattle I'm guessing that its on an airline site and not a 3rd party vendor?

Posted by
4211 posts

We did the 50 minutes in Amsterdam in September. It would have been quite easy if they could have told us on the first flight what gate we were looking for for the connecting. The lines were long at passport control, and I think it didn't help that they were also checking for vaccination. When we arrived the connecting gate, is was clear they were waiting for us. There were practically moving the Jetway as we boarded. I'm not sure how much longer they would have waited. They were pulling away before actual departure by a few minutes, but, that is within operating procedures.

I knew the connecting was tight and could have changed the flight (and paid more to do so) but the next flight was 6 hours later and I knew that if we missed the flight, they would have put us on that later flight anyway. Plus, I'd been watching the seat map and knew there was plenty of room on the second flight.

Posted by
9579 posts

Glad it is on one ticket! Sometimes people have cobbled together itineraries on 3rd party ticket sites that are not "protected" meaning you miss a flight and you are toast. On a flight booked thru your airline, they will protect you by putting you on the next flight.

Jules' experience is interesting. I'm glad her flight waited for her!

Posted by
5221 posts

That short layover would make me nervous, and reading about others' experiences confirms that. But as long as you have one ticket for the whole journey you should be protected. Six hours at AMS after an overnight flight is too long to be pleasant and too short to try leaving the airport for any sightseeing (see "nervous" above).

Posted by
50 posts

I remember the long line for passport control, pre-covid (2018) entering the EU at AMS, thinking there’s no way I’m making connection to my final destination. Back then, and as noted by others transiting through Schiphol (in and outbound), airport staff would regularly come through and ask for anyone with tight connection times to accompany them to the front of the line. I had plenty of time and didn’t need any intervention. Still, it was looong line (was mesmerized by ‘man in the clock’ while in the queue).

Jules, it sounds as though the weren’t doing this when you were trying to make your connection. If so, is that because of COVID protocols?

Also, departing BCN to AMS for return they did not display the gate until about 20 minutes prior to boarding; in AMS, for fight back home (US), passengers were directed to a pre-screening area and then once cleared were given the departing gate number. (Just to clarify, I’m describing my experience of the same trip in 2018, all booked on one ticket, Delta and KLM.)

In April, I’ve got another RT booked to BCN; as of today with an 85 minute layover in AMS returning home, and am interested to see what other travelers experience as April, 2022 approaches.

Posted by
4211 posts

We were actually in the line for people with short connections. I wanted to ask people in front of us if we could budge, but I wasn't feeling bold. I was getting more and more frustrated as the passport control agents chatted with people as they checked passports. "What are your plans?' "Make sure to try the hard cider", etc. I'm sure some of that is technique as a part of the screening but it was making me feel homicidal.

When I asked a flight attendant on the first flight about the tight connection, her response was that at Schipol its completely doable, not as much at other airports she flies to.

Posted by
1028 posts

I would also recommend using the Delta app on your smart phone. You can sign on to the airport wifi (or use cellular data). The app will have the connecting gate for your outbound flight and you don't have to waste time looking at the boards.