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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol deplaning procedure

I will be flying from Boston to Amsterdam and this will be a first flight abroad in over ten years. Can you tell me the procedure when I land? I will then proceed to customers (follow signs) and anything else? Then go to baggage claim and head out of the building?

On the way home I will be flying from Basel to Amsterdam. Then from Amsterdam to Boston. How will this work? When i go to Basel I have to go through security and immigration. Then when I land in Amsterdam I need to get a sticker put on my passport and not sure if there is anything else. Then when I land in Boston it is customs, etc?

Thank you

Posted by
4696 posts

When you land in Amsterdam from Boston, you will go through immigration. This is the longest possible wait you will have. Then you will collect your luggage, if any. After that you go through "customs" which is usually a 10 second walk past without stopping, unless you have something to declare. Most people don't.

I'm not familiar with Basel - but I think it is in the Schengen zone, so you would not have to pass through passport control when departing Basel. You would do that in Amsterdam as you depart the Schengen area for the US.

At Schiphol, just follow the signs to wherever you are going and don't overthink it! It's a large but efficient airport, a place I'd prefer to transit compared to some other European airports.

Posted by
20901 posts

In Amsterdam at passport control you will receive an ink stamp with a date on one of your passport pages -- it is not sticker. After that it is collect your luggage and walk through the custom Green Door - nothing to declare. On return you will go through exit immigration in Amsterdam and again another ink stamp with date. They will check your entry date and will the entry stamp. In Boston you will go through US immigration and US customs.

Posted by
47 posts

It seems that there is always more information when flying into Schiphol from the US than for connecting (transferring) from a Schengen country back through AMS and onto the States.

Thank you Andrew and Frank for clarifying.

I would add that it is important to monitor if any procedures should change based on a known security threat or worse.

Posted by
4948 posts

Just to recap what others have said and maybe expand. When you arrive in Amsterdam as your destination, you will enter the Schengen zone and need to go through immigration. Follow the crowd to the Arrivals area, you will stand in line, show your passport, and get a stamp. If you have luggage, then you get that and walk out, as others have said, through the green "nothing to declare" door.

On the way home, assuming this is all on the same ticket, check your bags in Basel, you won't see them until Boston, then when you get to Amsterdam, you will go from the Domestic terminal to the international, that involves a Passport check then some additional security, maybe another check at the gate.

When you get to Boston, you will either fill out a form or enter information at a kiosk, then talk to an immigration agent. After that you will pick up your luggage, walk by the beagles and customs people and go home.

Posted by
3150 posts

LF, did you buy separate tickets from Basel to Amsterdam and then Amsterdam to Boston?

Then when I land in Boston it is customs, etc?

Customs is a walk through unless you have purchases to declare. Your concern is immigration and there will be a line at Terminal E where you land at BOS.

Posted by
3437 posts

On arrival in Amsterdam, you will go through passport control then collect your luggage and walk through customs. Passport control may take a while depending on time of day and how many other international flights all arrive at the same time.

They may place a sticker on the back of your passport in Amsterdam when leaving. It is to show which airport you went through. You should leave that on at least until you get to Boston. I always scrape those off at the end of the trip.

You will go through passport control in Amsterdam as well when leaving. When I have gone through it has always been very quick for departures as all they do is look for your entry stamp and then stamp the exit stamp in your passport.

When you arrive in Boston it will be immigrations check (passport) and then customs. If you have Global Access or use the immigration app on your smartphone you can skip most of the lines in Boston.