We are arriving on a Delta flight from the US and need to transfer to a flight to Copenhagen. How long should be allow between flights for customs and a change? Is there transportation between terminals or is it a long walk?
One more questions that always needs answering in this case before a full answer can be given:
Is this one through ticket or two separate bookings?
Amsterdam is a single terminal airport which is very easy to get around. No inter-terminal transfer.
If it is one ticket, the airline will transfer your luggage and it is their problem to get you on the next flight.
- If your first flight is late, they will put you on a later flight.
If this is two separate tickets you need more time.
- You need to collect your bags, then go to check for your second flight. This will take extra time.
- If your first flight is late, hard luck, you loose your second flight.
In both cases you will go through immigration (passport control) in Amsterdam as that is where you enter the Schengen Zone. This can take 30 to 60 minutes.
Customs (luggage check) takes place wherever you collect your bags and takes minimal time as it is a random check only, 95%+ are not stopped.
Edit: Corrected, I read "Paris CDG" instead of Amsterdam - sorry. Amsterdam is a nice single big terminal airport, unlike CDG.
Schiphol airport in Amsterdam is big but very efficient. I like connecting there. You can walk between terminals, though the walks can be long. If you are booking your two flights on one ticket, I would book the shortest connection between flights that the airline offers. It may be less than an hour. If you miss the connection, they will put you on a later flight to Copenhagen. I see no reason to add extra time to your connection just out of fear that you won't make a shorter one; then you'll be guaranteed more time sitting at an airport than you probably need.
If your two tickets will be booked separately, then I would allow more time between flights, if you have the choice.
We are booking straight through with Delta although to leg to Copenhagen will be with Delta partner KLM. I was told it can be an extremely long walk and that could be slow for us.
It could be a long walk. If you move slowly, then perhaps you would be more comfortable with say two hours.