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how long will it take to clear security in Schipol? train connection timing.

Hello - we're flying in to Amsterdam from the U.S., thru Reykjavik on IcelandAir. Flight arrives 12:40 on a weekday. We will catch a train to Germany from the airport. Two questions: First, we'll have to go thru a passport check when we land? Would we be able to catch a train by 2:20 p.m.? Second, I feel like I want to book the train in advance, but if the flight is delayed, we'd be out of luck, correct? Maybe someone can comment on IcelandAir reliability. :) thanks!

Posted by
6410 posts

You already bought your plane ticket so it is a waste of energy to speculate about Iceland Air.

Give yourself 3 hours to make the train or pay a little more to get a train ticket refundable exchangeable if you miss the train.

Posted by
20598 posts

Two hours is too tight. Too many variables. Time of arrival, where are are sitting on the airplane and time to get off, local weather, lines for immigration and customs, etc.,etc. Are you taking a train directly from the airport or do you have to go to Amsterdam main station? The last time through Schipol on Delta we arrived 30 mins early in a heavy rain but other flights were delayed so gate was not available. Almost 30 mins late getting to the gate. It was around noon with a lot of other planes arriving. Lines were long but there were special short lines for short connections but you had to have a boarding pass showing the connection. Don't think a train counts. IcelandAir could have a 98% reliability record but you are screwed if you are a part of the 2%. Even with the short lines we still missed our connecting flight. Then last year on Lufthansas our whole flight from the US was cancelled so we really missed our connecting flight by over two days. I would not buy the trains till you see firm ground in Amsterdam.

Posted by
2446 posts

If memory serves, Iceland is part of the Schengen zone, so you would clear passport control in Reykjavik, not Amsterdam. All you'll have to do in A'dam is collect your bags and go through the "nothing to declare" Customs doors. But there's still no guarantee that your plane will arrive on time.

With less than 2 hours, I would probably not opt for pre purchasing a nonrefundable train ticket, even though that would be cheaper than having a fully refundable one, or just buying the ticket at the train station. The advantage of buying at the train station is that you could get one for whatever train is leaving next.

Posted by
226 posts

C. Jean is right . Indeed , Iceland , Germany and the Netherlands are all part of Schengen . So after passport control in Iceland you're done with passport control .

Posted by
19 posts

Sam, we're going to Dortmund to see a BVB game. Any suggestions for Dortmund? thanks!

Posted by
15573 posts

EDit correction. You are looking at the 14:18 IC to ICE to S connection to Dortmund. Walk up price is 69.20 EUR, with a nonrefundable ticket bought now for 39.90 EUR. Like you say, get delayed and miss your train, and you forfeit your ticket and have to buy a new full fare ticket. If you wait until 14:36, you can take a single connection routing that costs 48.80 EUR and that price is always the same. It does take over an hour longer to get to Dortmund because the train makes more stops. That routing goes every hour at 36 past the hour, so if things work out, your plane lands on time and you get your luggage in a timely manner, you could make the 13:36 train.

These are regional trains and don't take, or generally need, reservations. Just buy tickets and get on the train.

As far what to do in Dortmund, never spent any time in the Ruhr, but you should not be at a loss to find things to do. There is a coal mine museum in Essen, nearby, celebrating the Ruhr's industrial past.
https://www.nrw-tourism.com/a-ruhr-museum-at-zollverein-essen

Posted by
2941 posts

I’d be quite wary of the advice about clearing passport control for the EU in Iceland. That certainly wasn’t the case for me when I flew through there on Iceland Air last week.

My Iceland Air flights were on time, but that doesn’t mean another flight on another day won’t be delayed. I felt operations in Iceland were extremely well organized. One hint for getting off the plane quickly and ahead of the crowd is to pay for extra legroom seating. Not only will you have a little more comfortable flight, but you exit first.

No one can tell you for sure how your travel day will play out on timing. You will need to decide if cost savings/risk on non refundable train ticket are worth it to you or leave plenty of time.

Posted by
15 posts

If your trip involves leaving the airport in Iceland, you'll be processed there for passport control, but this is no guarantee of getting through passport control more easily in Amsterdam. If it's a transit stop (just changing planes or connecting flight) there is a higher chance of delay at passport control when you arrive in Amsterdam (because you will have technically arrived directly from the US). My experiences flying in and out of Amsterdam have for the most part been pretty smooth and quick (apart from one occasion when flying in from Malaysia when they appeared to stop everyone on my flight). Amsterdam is also a large airport, so the distance from the gate to the exit/train etc can vary a lot. 2 hours is a bit tight for time IMO as others have said, I would suggest planning for 3 hours to be on the safe side.

Posted by
8889 posts

C.Jean is correct (DeConfusingAirports is wrong). You WILL go through passport control in Reykjavik only. Reykjavik to Frankfurt is a Schengen internal flight, no passport control.
Customs will take place after you pick up your bags in Amsterdam. Thi is however a random check only, takes zero time.
There is never security when you land.

The big unpredictable delay is your flight being late, so allow 3 hours at least.

Posted by
2941 posts

The only people I saw going through Passport Control at Reykjavík were those leaving the secure portion of the airport and “arriving” in Iceland. Perhaps it happened and I just missed it???

Posted by
8889 posts

Carol,
Where were you flying to after Reykjavík?
Do you have a stamp on your passport? Where was this done?

The difference is if you are going onwards to a Schengen destination or not.
If going on to a Schengen country (France, Germany, Netherlands, Greece etc.), then you enter the Schengen Area in Iceland.
If going on to a non-Schengen country (UK, Ireland, Russia), then you do not enter the Schengen Area, stay "airside" and do not have your passport stamped.

Posted by
4805 posts

The only people I saw going through Passport Control at Reykjavík were those leaving the secure portion of the airport and “arriving” in Iceland. Perhaps it happened and I just missed it???

Very possibly you just missed it. Often, when arriving at a Schengen airport, those leaving the secure zone, for example, it is your final destination, go to one immigration hall, for those with flights connecting to another Schengen country, they go through a separate connecting flights Immigration line and into the Domestic Terminal, and then if you are flying to a Non-Schengen country, you stay airside in the International Terminal and have no Immigration check. Schipol is set up this way, as is other airports I have been to in Europe, can't vouch for Reykjavik though.

Posted by
19 posts

Hi all - thought I’d update on our experience bc there was some differing advice/views about passport clearance. We flew from the US thru Reykjavík to Amsterdam, and had to change planes in Reyk. We had to go thru the passport check in the Reyk airport, on the way to the connecting flight to Amsterdam. So when we landed in Amsterdam at about 12:45 or so, we had no further passport check and had plenty of time to make the ICE connection by like 2:20 or whatever it was. We had not purchased the train tickets in advance but it was no problem to just head to the station in the basement of the airport and hop on. Thanks.