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Schiphol is still a mess

We left Amsterdam yesterday for Bergen, Norway. We arrived about 3 hours early for an 11:45 flight. I knew in my heart we should probably get there earlier, but my optimist attitude got the better of me and I convinced myself that the situation must be better than it had been over the preceding holiday weekends. The Schiphol airport website recommended arriving 2 hours early, based on the specific flight and day we were flying.
WRONG!
We missed the flight. We needed 4 full hours to make it through security and walk to the gate where our plane would have been (if we hadn’t missed it.) I have never stood in a line that long before.
There were only two more flights to Bergen that day. The one at 3:15 was full, so we had to get the one leaving at 9:30 that night (and that one ended up being full because of all the others who had missed our flight).
So we ended up spending over 12 hours in the airport. At least we didn’t get stuck there overnight! Finally arrived at our apartment in Bergen after midnight….

I have to say, that for travelers having to wait at the airport Schiphol is an awful airport. First of all, all the food is horrible. I am used to airport food being overpriced, but these days, you can usually find something decent, even if it is ridiculously overpriced. Second it is one of those airports where the gate areas are only open in the time just before a flight is going to leave from that gate. There is some seating in small waiting areas above the gates, but they are cramped and stuffy. This means seating in the central area with the shops and food is at a premium and empty seats are not always easy to find. Also we were confined in that one area (“Lounge” 1), because we were flying to another country in the Schengen zone. To leave that area, you have to go through passport control, which we did not want to do.

I try and roll with punches when traveling and not get bothered about things beyond my control, but I have to say this is one experience I would rather not repeat.

Absolutely loved our time in the Netherlands, though……

Posted by
9904 posts

Oh man, I am sorry to hear this -- but thank you for taking the time to report.

I am sorry you missed your flight and lost practically a day in Bergen yet glad you made it there at least to go to bed and wake up there the next morning.

Hope you enjoy your time in Norway. I was there in August and would go back monthly if I could !!!!

Posted by
86 posts

Four hours ahead of the flight is the advised time. They won’t let you into the airport if your flight isn’t within four hours. That’s one of the measures the airport took to control this mess. It is unpredictable how long it will take to get to the gate. We had an afternoon flight on a so-called peak day on the Schiphol airport app three weeks ago and it took us ‘ only’ two hours from Utrecht to get to the gate (and we had checked luggage) but we’ve heard that the morning flights that day had a big waiting line. A week before it was just the opposite: the morning flights had no waiting lines and the afternoon flights did! Living in the Netherlands I’m glad that we go by car for our summer vacation and not taking a flight from Schiphol. Prefer the regional airports anyway.

Posted by
7906 posts

We fly into AMS a day and a half before we fly Qatar Airways to Nairobi. Our flight departs at 16:15 or 4:15pm(5 August).
We are staying at the Hilton right next to the airport for the one night.

Any suggestions on what time we should head over to the airport?

Is the delay just getting inside the airport, going through security or getting to the gate?

We have been through AMS before and while it was crowded, we managed just fine.

I would appreciate any tips.

Posted by
2490 posts

I'm flying in and out of AMS in Sept. and crossing my fingers but not holding my breath that things might be better by then. For my outgoing flight I'll aim to be there 4 hours early and hope for the best..

Posted by
3365 posts

We also fly into and out of this airport next month. We will plan to be there 4 hrs before we depart. Thanks for the heads up.

Posted by
104 posts

Geovagriffith,

The delay is getting through security. The line started inside the airport, wound outside and WAY down the sidewalk and back, then back inside, where it went down the entry area, upstairs, and then a bunch of back and forth snaking. Once you have cleared security, it is crowded but easy to navigate to where you need to go. This was for terminal 1 and 2. No idea what 3 and 4 were like.

Posted by
7906 posts

Thanks david fox. I did a search on TripAdvisor for posts about the problems at Schipol and recent posts seem to indicate that delays are not as bad as there were some days ago. Apparently, there was a strike, but it was settled. Some airlines have moved flights to other airports.

Amazing to read of these issues, since you expect normal Dutch efficiency would prevail.

Posted by
2490 posts

line started inside the airport, wound outside and WAY down the sidewalk and back, then back inside, where it went down the entry area, upstairs, and then a bunch of back and forth snaking.

Wow

Posted by
104 posts

Yea, that was what I was thinking - that the delays would be not as bad as before. Boy was I wrong…..

Posted by
3 posts

Newbie here, following this thread as we are scheduled in about a month for a 9:50AM flight out of Schiphol to Vienna. Unless there are major changes for the better, sounds like it'll be a very early wakeup and checkout from our Amsterdam hotel that morning. Probably a harbinger that our daughter, who we are meeting in Vienna, herself had to wait hours in VIE on her outbound journey a couple weeks ago because this exact flight was her connection continuing from VIE to her ultimate destination, and was very late arriving thanks to AMS delays. Fortunately, returning home direct from Vienna, so our only other Schiphol adventure will be our initial arrival.

Posted by
1 posts

We leave this coming Sunday for Amsterdam. Anyone know if Schiphol has improved today? Also, if we're stuck waiting there for a long period, are there business class lounges? Thanks for any updates!

Posted by
2207 posts

I've flown out of AMS multiple times this month and will do it again Monday & Saturday of next week. Yes, I plan to be there 4 hours early. In my previous trips, I've gotten through in as little as 1 hour, and as long as 2.5 hours.

There are actually FOUR Bottlenecks in the system.

(1) If you have to drop off checked luggage, some of the lines are horrendous... so those traveling carry-on only benefit here.

(2) The NEXT Line is the line to SCAN your boarding pass. To redirect the traffic, they've closed almost ALL the scanners and then funnel people through ONE SET of "5 boarding pass scanners." (This SCANNER which EVERYONE needs to use in order to scan their boarding pass and enter the AIRSIDE segment of the airport, is located in front of Departures 2... but the line for this scanner often starts about Departures 3, goes through Departure 2, down to Departures, 1... and then OUTSIDE, under a canopy in the parking lot... and then winds back into the building. THIS IS THE LONGEST LINE - and unexpected for most folks. Until they open more scanners, this will continue to be the most frustrating line!

(3) After you scan your boarding pass, you go upstairs and join the SECURITY Line. Once you get to this point, it's about 1 hour to get through security once you climb the stairs.

(4) Add 30 more minutes (at least) if you are traveling to a non-Schengen location and have to go through passport control.

If you are traveling from Schengen to Schengen countries with carry-on only, you're looking at "two" lines. If you're checking bags and traveling to a Non-Schengen country, you'll have 4 separate lines to deal with. So yes, be there VERY early!

Posted by
2490 posts

RnR, are they still enforcing the 4 hour rule for letting people inside?

Posted by
2207 posts

Well, they say they are... I will find out Monday as we have a 9.15 AM flight... and we're arriving a little before 5 AM.
This is a "checked bag" trip... so we'll probably be in line WAITING for the Airline to open THEIR counter! (One of us will also go stand in the BOARDING PASS SCANNER line which seems to take forever). Let's hope they've changed - and improved - the flow!

Here in the local papers, it's reported that Schiphol is now limiting the number of passengers that fly out daily, reducing the number of flights, and so on. Dutch travel agencies are now suing the AMS Schiphol operating group --- and yes, they are still understaffed!

Posted by
508 posts

I flew out of AMS to the US on Sat, 6/11. I arrived 4 hours ahead of my flight even though I had priority check in and could go through the priority security line. There were employees there to check if passengers were only entering the airport no more than 4 hours prior to the flight, but they were on their phones and not even looking at boarding passes or flight confirmations. I was staying at the airport Hilton and was in the train station over several different days heading to different destinations and noticed that there was never anyone checking passengers using the elevator to enter the airport, only the escalator and sometimes the stairs. There were very long lines at check in, security and passport control. I can't comment on how long the first two took but the line for passport control filled up the entire queue and was backing up security. It did not take as long as I thought and was through this line in less than 30 minutes. When walking through the airport, I noticed those transferring flights from outside Schengen to Schengen flights had to go through passport control and this line was really long - at least 50 people outside the normal queue with the line running past several of the shops. This was all late morning on a Saturday. Once on the plane, we were delayed over an hour due to what the pilot attributed to the ground crew assigned to our plane being reassigned to another flight that had more urgent needs. When I arrived from the US mid-May on a Saturday morning, passport control to transfer to a Schengen flight had absolutely no line. Unless the staffing situation changes, plan to arrive 4 hours early and if changing flights that require going through passport control, head toward your gate as soon as you land. I like the AMS airport but will avoid it if I can until they fix the issues.

Also, check the monitors for gate and flight info. Inbound from the US, the connecting flight gate info changed a few times and was not updated right away on the KLM site. On the outbound flight, United had a different gate than the monitors and didn’t update the gate until after I was on the plane. A couple was complaining loudly of the last minute gate change and was wondering how everyone was already on the plane - when others told them the correct gate was on the monitors a couple hours before the flight, they were surprised.

Posted by
508 posts

georgeelise - There are lounges. There is the KLM/Air France and other numbered lounges. I'm not sure if there are other lounges but they have the info on the Schiphol airport website. Check with your airline which lounge you can use. On a flight to the US, United directed me to Lounge 41. They only were allowing bus class passengers and no pass holders into the lounge. When I had arrived from the US mid-May, I was able to access one of the lounges for Schengen flights with my Priority Pass membership.

Posted by
86 posts

@RnR: we had also had checked luggage but we’re able to drop our luggage off at a self-service point which had no waiting lines. We were very early at the airport (5 hours before our flight (before the 4 hour rule entering the airport)) and were able to drop off our luggage early. No waiting for the airline to open up their counter. This might be an option. It was a Schengen flight.

Posted by
6691 posts

Newbie here, following this thread as we are scheduled in about a
month for a 9:50AM flight out of Schiphol to Vienna. Unless there are
major changes for the better, sounds like it'll be a very early wakeup
and checkout from our Amsterdam hotel that morning.

Have you considered the train instead? No long lines and no security checks.
https://www.nightjet.com/en/

Posted by
2207 posts

@ajlmv - checking in your luggage varies greatly at AMS depending on your airline, the destination, and the time of your flight's departure (several of my flights were departing 6.00-6.50 AM... and so no one was there too early). As we fly many of the smaller lines for intra-Europe trips, a few do not have the self-check-in option.

@geovagriffith - based on our experiences (and between my wife and friends, we've left at all times of the day), it appears the worst times to travel are for flights departing from 06.00 - 11.00 AM. I was very surprised on the May 1 weekend, when I arrived at 4.00 AM for a 6.50 AM flight and found myself in a 2+ hour line to get to the scanners and clear security (and I was traveling carry-on only). Perhaps this is in part due to the business crowd, the first flights returning BACK to the USA, and so on. We've seen the lightest lines after 3 PM -- which bodes well for me as my June 25 flight to Lisbon departs at 5.20 PM.

Of course, the risk in a later-in-the-day flight is, WILL IT BE CANCELED with the many cutbacks they are speaking about... OR, WILL IT BE DELAYED as a later day flight by the building traffic at AMS throughout the day. All you can do is get there early, hope for the best, and prepare for the worst (KNOW your alternative fight options if you are canceled). Unfortunately, I am on TAP, so very much hoping I don't have to work on that flight, as I struggled with them on previous flight changes.

Posted by
2490 posts

it appears the worst times to travel are for flights departing from 06.00 - 11.00 AM.

😬 My flight departs 10:50 AM.

Posted by
11 posts

RnR, thank you so much for this detailed info! We will be dealing with AMS for the first time ever next weekend, and it helps a lot to know about the different lines. You've convinced me to do our absolute best to not only get there plenty early but to avoid having checked luggage. :)

Posted by
203 posts

Has anyone had recent experience flying into AMS? We fly out later this week and am wondering what to expect for arrivals.

Posted by
2 posts

Flew home from Schiphol on June 18th. Fortunately I read this thread and arrived exactly 4 hours ahead for an 11:35 flight. It took us 2 and 3/4 of an hour from the time we arrived to the time we got to the gate. That included getting checked to see if your flight leaves within 4 hours (don't show up earlier) and waiting in line to check in, to go through security, to go through passport control, and get to the gate (a pretty good walk).
Security line is confusing with lots of turns and stops. Wear a mask, they pack people into confined spaces for extended periods. We will know if the masks worked in a couple of days.
Note: the airport app mentioned in this thread is helpful (schiphol.nl) with three levels of crowding. When we flew it was a 2.
Good luck.

Posted by
2207 posts

Feedback on Schiphol on Monday, 06/20

This morning my wife and I headed back to Schiphol for my first of two flights this week. I was doing a Schengen route, and she was headed to the USA to see family, and thus a Non-Schengen departure. We drove our Renault to the airport. There were many signs posted at the entrance to each Departures Area (where you go to check in and drop luggage)... all saying, "Please do not arrive until 4 hours before your flight" yet NO ONE was manning these stations. As my wife had a 9.15 AM flight on United (Departures 3 - Desk 26), we arrived at about 5.00 AM.

The GOOD NEWS

The biggest lines the past few weeks have been GETTING TO THE SCANNER to scan your boarding pass and enter the Security Area. Today, there were minimal lines as they have re-opened MULTIPLE boarding pass scanners. NOW, rather than everyone being funneled through one set of scanners - in front of the Departures 2 check-in Desks - all the self-scanner entry points had been reopened in each Departure Area (If you know Schiphol, then you know that usually, you head for the BACK WALL, beyond the check-in desks, scan your pass, and then take the stairs/escalators up to Security). So with the scanners re-opened - and thus creating alternative routes to Security - the lines were diminished. In fact, in Departures 3, there was NO WAITING LINE to use the scanner to go upstairs and my wife quickly joined the security lines.

The BAD NEWS

Security is still a bottleneck. More zones and entry points are available (thankfully), but you're still looking at a 1+ hour wait - at least this time of day - to get through security. My wife also waited about 20-25 minutes to go through Passport Control (which I did not have to do).

Checking in: You can come to the airport 4 hours in advance, but if you're flying early - as my wife was at 9.15 AM - and that's the first flight of the day for your airline, those airlines are not opening up their counters until 3 hours before the flight departure. So, despite getting there at 5.15 AM, she could not drop off her checked bag and 'beat" the security crush until 6.20 AM. (and she wasn't even first in line - maybe #25!). I asked the United Airlines rep if they would be opening the desks early, given the crowds and they said, NO - it's not possible. So, if you're checking luggage, be prepared to wait and run! (I was flying carry-on only for a short trip and scanned my pass and headed for security!).

Arriving at AMS: In the Non-Schengen area, today, the line to go to Passport Control and Baggage Claim... was BACKED UP INTO the (upstairs) Non-Schengen terminal area. In five years of flying AMS, I've never seen that before. Whereas, improvements have been made in getting ON a flight, apparently, still more challenges getting OFF a flight. Part of the issue is the BACKUP in the Baggage Claim area. With the Schiphol staffing issues, my checked bags over the past few weeks have taken 1 - 1.5 hours to retrieve. (My last baggage carousel had five flights on it at one time --- far too crowded to be effective). Another reason to fly carry-on only if you can.

TRAINS We drove, primarily because there were no trains departing at 4.30 AM... but there have been recurring messages on the NS website (the train) of staffing shortages which will lead to canceled trains. So do check the website if you plan to ride the train (which I plan to do on Saturday when heading to Lisbon).

DELAYS - Yes, these are still happening. My wife's plane was going to be 2+ hours late... and there was NO NOTIFICATION from United --- no email, no text... nothing! So we got there early for her and NO PLANE COMING ANYTIME SOON. The Departure Board in Schiphol reflected her time "as scheduled at 9.15 AM"... but the plane was going to be late - very late. (Eventually, she had to change flights to make her connection as the delay stretched to 5+ hours). Know your options!

AVOID SCHIPHOL FOR INTRA-EUROPEAN FLIGHTS AT ALL COSTS I have been at Schiphol for 12 hours and am too exhausted to detail what an unmitigated disaster it is and that you cannot have any expectation of an appropriate customer service resolution to missing your flight (and you probably will miss your flight; I did after showing up four hours early). I wish I had made other arrangements altogether. This experience is unparalleled in my decades of international travel. Truly, stay away.

Some relatives of mine got through in 2.5 hours today for their flight to the US, so maybe US-bound flights are better.

Posted by
3254 posts

Does anyone have any recent experience of transferring from a flight from N. America onto a flight to another European country?
As in: not leaving airside/secure area, that is.
What do you think the chances of a checked bag are for getting onto the second flight?
I have a ticket on KLM with one checked bag allowed, and didn't want to go just carryon this trip...I may have to rethink this though.
I'm not going until mid September (Vancouver-Amsterdam-Florence) but I'm not sure which way things will go by then!
(Still thinking of booking a cheap hotel near the airport for both coming and going.....just in case.
Too old to sleep in airports due to delays.)

Posted by
2267 posts

Wow! Thanks for sharing, everyone. I just booked a trip into AMS, but actually made my plans so that the flights would be open-jaw, just to avoid flying out of there. (Though I've been reading that FRA isn't sunshine and roses, either.)

Posted by
1429 posts

@Kelsey; I’m sorry you missed your flight. If you don’t mind, can you please share some details of your flight? Where did you fly to? What airline? What time did you arrive at the airport? Did you have check in luggage?

Posted by
7906 posts

We fly into Schipol from Atlanta one morning at 8am and depart the next day at 4pm. We are booked on Qatar Airlines to Doha and then Nairobi. We are staying at the Hilton just outside the airport that one night.

I did a search on flight aware and found my flight to Doha has only be a few minutes late departing for the past 2 weeks.

I know there are hotels inside the airport, not sure if booking one of them would have helped?
In any event, we plan to show up a little before noon on the day of our flight.

Posted by
2207 posts

@S.J., it's really hard to answer your question about transiting at AMS - especially for a September booking - as there are just so many parameters involved. Living here, AMS is our "destination airport" so WE don't transit through Schiphol now (although we used to quite frequently when we lived in CPH and VIE). Frankly, it's always been one of the easiest airports we've used for international connections. Until this summer.

I fly quite often from AMS - primarily for business and almost all, intra-Schengen. You do talk to other passengers on the plane and waiting to board - so you hear about their "connecting" experiences. And there's been plenty to talk about this summer.

Trading messages with my wife last night as we both reached our destinations, we compared stories. As mentioned, her first flight was late (an issue at EWR so not an AMS factor), but that forced her to change flights so she could make her USA connection (headed to MCO). Her "revised" flight was scheduled to depart at 11.15 AM. It did not leave until 12.37 PM - cutting into her connection time in the USA at IAH. The reason it was late departing: the pilot said they were waiting on 56 AMS "connecting" passengers.

AMS is a huge hub for many airlines - especially KLM and their partners, Delta & AF - and thus, they were waiting on folks heading back to the USA. And of course, my wife's concern was her easy connection at IAH was now no longer easy, and possibly, in jeopardy. After being delayed more than an hour - sitting at the gate waiting - the pilot pulled the plug and decided to depart - WITHOUT those 56 people (who would now be stranded at AMS).

There's no doubt that the short-handed, stressed-out airport personnel are feeling the pressure also. I overheard their brief "rally meeting" before they started servicing the people waiting in line for a 9.15 AM flight --- which was delayed until 2.44 PM (my wife's original flight). They opened their counters at 6.15 AM for a flight now departing at 2.44 PM. Many people in line arrived at the airport NOT KNOWING that the flight was delayed (like my wife), as an overwhelmed United Airlines system did not send out notifications. The Group Leader told her associates, "It's going to be a tough start to the day" as they knew that EVERYONE in line - perhaps a 100 at that point - was delayed or needed to change flights (like my wife). So yes, customer service is lacking, but there are simply "no good answers" for them due to the remaining inventory, the overwhelming number of required changes, and the constant fluidity of the situations.

My wife also faced "check luggage" concerns as she's staying for a month in the US... and taking items/gifts home to family. She put a few changes of clothes and must-have items in her carry-on, added extra labels to her checked bag, photographed it from all angles, and added a full-page note INSIDE the bag with her destination address and additional contact information. And then prayed it would get there. Perhaps that's really all you can do if you plan to check bags these days. (Despite a resulting 55-minute international connection at IAH, her bags did make it to MCO - the last to come off the plane!). We used to drop a "location summary" of our itinerary in our checked bags when we traveled to Europe years ago, having suffered lost bags a few times.

IT APPEARS that most non-Schengen flights seem to be "getting there," albeit sometimes delayed. Most of the challenges are the intra-Europe, smaller airlines - and thus, CONNECTIONS for North American passengers. I am flying in the next few weeks to/from Lisbon, Dublin, Barcelona, and Rome, and like others, I am waiting to see if I can get out of, or back to, AMS --- unfortunately, there's been little notice given for flight cancellations. Tough times at AMS the remainder of the summer.

Posted by
3 posts

I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories and advice. To @Badger's point, we are looking into trains as an alternative (but so far the overnight train options with availability look like an old-school Amazing Race leg, with several train changes). We're also looking at whether switching our outbound flight from Schiphol to Brussels might improve our odds (but BRU shut down entirely on 20 June for a strike, so we could find ourselves with a whole different set of issues there).

I would be very interested to know (if there are any here who can speak to the issue) whether Austrian Airlines intra-Schengen flights out of Schiphol are being affected equally/worse than other carriers, or whether there is any understanding of the rhyme or reason that is being or will be applied to cancellations. I wonder, for example, if flights to a hub/home base might still get some level of priority, or if the pain is just going to be distributed equally throughout the system.

I have started tracking departure times of the flight to VIE that we're scheduled to be on (which I believe is Austrian's second flight out in the morning), and I'm seeing a pretty consistent 30-60 minute delay in departure (with a couple instances of 90-120 minutes). Based on what I'm hearing here, though, I expect that will get worse before it gets better.

Posted by
9904 posts

Ron, thank you so much for your detailed reporting - which, paired with your expertise, makes your posts absolutely invaluable. Thank you for taking the time to craft and share them.

Posted by
2532 posts

FWIW, today (June 22) I am on a departing international flight from Amsterdam, 9:55 am departure. We were able to check in online yesterday (Delta). We arrived exactly 4 hours early with carry on bags only (though there was virtually no line for checking bags if we had any). We were through security and immigration in less than 15 minutes. The day is is listed as "busy" for departures. I think maybe we won the luck lottery! After some other travel drama involving train strikes and a day delay departing I'll take the luck ;)

Posted by
2490 posts

Every now and then someone reports breezing through AMS. It's so random! Glad it went so well, CL.

Posted by
3254 posts

Thanks RnR for your detailed reply.
It's just luck these days it seems!

I also put my itinerary inside my bag and photograph it and it's contents; as well as making a list to keep, with what is inside it.
Friends are coming home from Dublin today, and are still in transit; having had a 6 hour delay at Dublin before their flight could leave.
Don't know why.
We'll hear all the gory details soon!

Posted by
61 posts

Sorry to hear about the nightmares that most everyone faced at Schiphol! Airports are stressful and hectic enough, even when everything is going right…..Here is my recent experience.

Flying into Schiphol – I flew into Schiphol on June 7, and luckily, did not have any extra delays in going through immigration. However, I had to wait over an hour to get my luggage that I checked in. Only a portion, of the luggage would come down the chute. There would be a 20 minute delay. Then more would be released. After the 3rd release, my luggage as well as that of two other groups of people finally came through.

Return flight (Connecting flight through Schiphol) – On June 21, I flew from Brussels to the U.S., with a connecting flight through Schiphol. My flight from Brussels to Schiphol was delayed for more than an hour. We were informed that this aircraft was coming from Amsterdam, and the delay was due to a delay at Schiphol. When I arrived at Schiphol, luckily my connecting flight to the States was delayed also. I had no additional delays.

However, I think that this is due to the fact that I did not have to out of Schiphol, on a flight that originated in Schiphol. I hope that everything there improves soon!

Posted by
2532 posts

A few more details on my AMS experience now that I'm finally home (whew). I agree that we got so, so lucky on the quick process at Schiphol. I think checking in online the day before helped, along with no checked bags. Flying on a Wednesday could have been a factor. And since we did not have to test to return there was no need to verify that in-person. I had uploaded our vaccine cards and passports to Delta FlyReady, though don't know if that actually helped (we were not asked for our vaccine cards in Amsterdam only passports). I splurged on an overnight stay at CitizenM hotel which is a 7 minute walk to the airport and would do that again (so swanky, iPad controlled rooms!). That helped us get to the airport exactly 4 hours early and just before the early morning rush - no one checked to see if we were more than 4 hours early. The airport was busy airside by the time our flight left just before 10 a.m., but it was pretty quiet until about 8. We were lucky to be in Lounge 2 area so many more food options than you had davidfox. Our flight was delayed about 20 minutes while we waited for "last minute baggage and cargo" to get loaded. I overheard the flight attendant say we were missing a handful of passengers and our flight was not completely full. That wasn't the case on the flight we were supposed to be on the day before, so we also got lucky that way too.

We also flew through Schiphol on June 21 (flight from London) that arrived around 6:30 p.m. and the airport was very quiet at that hour, so perhaps afternoon flights might be better option. When we went through immigration, the officer told us very seriously to get to the airport early for our return flight (he looked tired).

Amsterdam is a favorite of mine, so I really hope they work it all out. Flight schedule reductions are in progress and will last through at least September. Other airports a mess too (Heathrow baggage drama, Brussels was closed unexpectedly on 20th). Pack your patience and be prepared to do some creative re-routing.

Posted by
2207 posts

On 6/25, I again flew out of Schiphol. And despite the improvements I saw earlier in the week, on this flight, the long lines were back. Perhaps it was because it was a Saturday, and also a holiday (Veterans Day).

In Departures, 1, 2, and 3, the scanners - located along the back walls of each area - were again closed. And thus, there was a HUGE line to go through the one set of scanners that were available. The only scanner system available was again, located in front of Departures 2. All travelers were routed to this entry point. I snapped a photo of a display board set up in the line that read: YOU ARE NOW 90 MINUTES FROM SECURITY AT THIS POINT. Yes, 90 minutes to get from entering the line to the scanner system (regardless of whether you checked bags or carried on).

The lines were so long that once you WERE able to scan your boarding pass, you had to then wait at the base of the stairs until airport officials allowed groups to head up to the SECURITY Line. Despite the long lines, five of the X-RAY systems were not manned. The wait was about 60 minutes once you cleared the scanners and joined the SECURITY Line. Thus, regardless of whether you were carry-on only - or had checked bags to drop as I did - the wait to get into the AIRSIDE area of the airport was taking about 2.25 to 2.5 hours in the middle of the afternoon.

There are signs everywhere telling you NOT to arrive more than 4 hours early, but the few airport officials posted at the signs were not really checking. (The individuals I saw were on their phones, indifferent to arriving travelers). Schiphol had employees handing out water bottles to those waiting, as the line did again wind outside the building under a canopy. Talking to them as we waited, they told us that this time of day - about 2 PM - was the "slower" time of day. I would have hated to be there earlier in the morning.

And of course, given the additional staffing issues, many flights were running late. All of us in line constantly were checking our Airline Apps. My flight - although still posted on the AMS Departure Boards for a 1720h departure - was actually departing at 1845h hours, which I knew from reading the TAP App. The AMS board NEVER changed. Sitting in the D77 gate area at 1815h, it still read 1720h, as did all the boards in the airport ----- so download the Airline App to get the most current information (and be careful not to ONLY rely on the AMS boards as this also happened to my wife earlier in the week). I also used the FLIGHT AWARE App to track the incoming flight, so I knew that my plane was not even arriving until 1810h. Again, disappointing that the boards were never updated. (despite everyone in line complaining that their flights were late - VERY FEW flights on the AMS display boards reflected DELAYED?)

One note - if you are flying out of the M Gates - on Flybe, EasyJet, and Jet-2 for example - you have a different security system and a different entry scanner point. Looking at the line there - in Departures 3 - I was pretty envious and started to rethink my trips, considering Easy Jet as a better option for short intra-Europe flights (Wonder if they could make it part of their marketing pitch?).

I arrived in Lisbon more than two hours late - after getting to the airport four hours early. Another long day at Schiphol. I fly back in on July 8 and fly out again on July 21. Let's hope they've made some improvements by then. Definitely prepare for the worst and be there four hours early - even on an intra-Europe, Schengen flight, and even if you are carry-on only... and especially if you are flying during a peak period, weekend, or holiday. Good Luck!

Posted by
1429 posts

Thanks RnR for the update. Pfff what a mess, I’m starting to really dread my upcoming flight.
Just a small correction, Veterans Day is not a holiday in the Netherlands. It’s a special day, but it’s not a holiday. No one gets the day of from work and since it’s always on a Saturday schools aren’t impacted. So yesterday was just a regular weekend day for Schiphol…

Posted by
9904 posts

Thanks for the update, Ron. That's especially important for people to be aware the the airport isn't updating its information boards to reflect reality, so people really need to be relying on other sources of information.

Four hours at the airport, plus a two-hour delay, plus the flight to Lisbon itself. Not fun.

Posted by
2207 posts

@Dutch_Traveler.... well, it may not be a "holiday" but no one in the govt was working as the King was in town and they've been blocking off all downtown roads for days. We've had gridlock around our house, especially for delivery and garbage trucks!

Many of the downtown streets were blocked for the parade, which started at 1330h. They also erected many bleachers and even created a stage on the lake in front of the Binnehoff.

So, while it may not seem like a holiday where you are at, here in The Hague, with the King, a massive police presence, blocked roads, temporary bleachers, many men and women in uniform, people lining the streets.... it sure feels like it here!

Posted by
1429 posts

Ron, what I meant to say with my comment is that it’s not a holiday like Easter where kids are free from school and many people are free from work. During Easter or other holidays many people will seize the opportunity to go away on a (short)
While Veterans Day surely has an impact in central The Hague, it has no impact at all anywhere else in the country. I wasn’t even aware that it was Veterans Day until I saw it mentioned on the tv news. That was the reason I wanted to mention it, because the fact that yesterday wasn’t a holiday makes your experience even worse. It wasn’t a holiday when bigger crowds could be expected at Schiphol, it was just a regular Saturday.

Posted by
90 posts

The comments on here are always helpful. Is there someone here that can comment on the passport control area airside for folks arriving from non-Schengen countries and transferring to Schengen? What has been the usual wait at that point lately? I also noted that historically, at this checkpoint, they will post flights on a monitor that are leaving more quickly than others. Is it true that someone is usually there to move folks traveling on these flights through an expedited lane? Thank you.

Posted by
7906 posts

Regarding these long lines. I am 74 and if I have to wait in line for 2-3 hours, I am likely to have to go to the toilet. Do I need to plan on buying a depends or will my wife be able to hold my spot while I go to the toilet?

Posted by
6788 posts

And if you thought Schiphol's current challenges were just temporary, there's this:

Amsterdam's Schiphol airport becomes first in the world to cap flights to limit emissions

The Dutch government this week made a historic announcement that the
number of flights arriving at Schiphol airport will be capped to bring
down pollution.

Schiphol, which is the third largest airport in Europe after London
Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle in Paris, will be limited to 440,000
flights a year from 2023.

Previous plan was to allow a maximum of 540,000 flights; the cap will result in 11-20% fewer flights (depending on which number you use for comparison, current cap or previously agreed cap for next year). Either way, fewer planes will be operating out of AMS in coming years.

I suppose that's one way to shorten the lines (unless they just switch to larger planes)...

Posted by
1 posts

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread .. it’s hugely helpful! We are flying BRS - AMS on Sunday 3rd July @ 1250pm. We fly home on Tuesday 5th July @ 1845pm. Flying both ways with Easyjet. There was an interesting comment regarding Easyjet and the fact they have a different security system and a different entry point. M Gate and Departures 3 was also referenced. Does this mean we may not have to queue quite as long? My main concern is my husband requires access to toilets, sometimes quite urgently as he has an ileostomy following his recent cancer and it can be unpredictable at times and require changing. Any tips/info to help make things a little less stressful would be hugely appreciated. We are going to arrive at the airport by train as I understand it’s then a case of simply taking the escalator upstairs. I am also trying to avoid him being stood outside for too long due to his neuropathy so this seemed like the most sensible option.

Posted by
5 posts

Regarding these long lines. I am 74 and if I have to wait in line for 2-3 hours, I am likely to have to go to the toilet. Do I need to plan on buying a depends or will my wife be able to hold my spot while I go to the toilet?

Your wife should be able to hold your place if you need to use the WC.

Posted by
3 posts

I will be flying from LAX to AMS (Amsterdam is my final destination) on Sunday. Based on the comments and the linked recent article, it seems that the prudent decision would be to try to have only carry-on baggage and no checked baggage?

Posted by
5 posts

I will be flying from LAX to AMS (Amsterdam is my final destination) on Sunday. Based on the comments and the linked recent article, it seems that the prudent decision would be to try to have only carry-on baggage and no checked baggage?

Yes, carry-on baggage only is the best option, IMO.

Posted by
9 posts

For those asking about simply transferring through Schiphol, here is our experience: We landed at 8:30 am on Wednesday morning on June 15th for our transfer to OPO. When we reached passport control, there were lines, but we were through in 20 minutes or so. On our way home, we landed at 10:30 am on Tuesday, June 28th. This time, we went through a different passport control area and it had eGate as an option. Since we recently renewed our passports, they have chips in them, so we used these scanners and were through in about 10 minutes. Given the challenges that so many have mentioned on this forum, my guess is that it was sheer good luck that we got through so quickly. Traveling on Tuesday and Wednesday may have also been a factor.

Posted by
2490 posts

Thanks for the info, Chris K. I'll be departing AMS on a Tuesday, so that gives me some hope. I still have the old passport though.

Posted by
9 posts

You are very welcome, roubrat. For what it's worth, the non-eGate lines weren't too long and I would guess that it would have only taken 20 minutes or so to get through. I hope that you get as lucky as we did and that everything goes smoothly on your travels.

Just as a warning: school holidays in the first part of the Netherlands start July 8 ( second part 15 July, third part 22 July). So it will be even more busy with thousands of kids/families added to the lines

Posted by
13 posts

@Chris K, thanks for the information about transiting through Schiphol. My questions are even more basic. We will be transiting MSP-AMS-BGO in mid-July, and very nervous about our 2 hour 15 minute layover time at AMS. We want to be as prepared as possible. Schiphol airport site warns that the lines are so long it is hard to know what the lines lead to.

My questions: what lines/bottlenecks/checkpoints will we need to go through? Immigration? Is there an electronic echeck option? Will we need to pass through security between arrival and departure gates? We are splurging and flying business class (trip was my wife's Christmas present in 2019, finally able to travel). Are there shorter/faster lines for business class, or does everyone pass through the same checkpoints?

We will load the Schiphol app and the Delta app. How else can we prepare? Thanks all for the advice!

Posted by
40 posts

RickS I wish we would be in your position. We only have one hour 10 minute transfer (!) so until reading Chris' post we've resigned ourselves to missing our connecting flight. Chris' post has given me slight hope, but yes any suggestions to improve our slight chances would be appreciated!

Posted by
2490 posts

Is there a way you can preemptively change your flight to a later connection?

Posted by
40 posts

Maybe but the next connection is 9 hours away and my wife and are flying all the way from Los Angeles, so we are not enthusiastic about a 9 hour weight after an 11 hour flight. Our thinking is that if we miss the flight KLM will put us the next connection anyways so there are no upsides to changing it preemptively if there is any slight chance of making the original connection. Are we wrong?

Posted by
27453 posts

If I were in your shoes, I 'd stand pat, but there is a downside: The airline will put you on the next flight only if that flight has vacant seats and the number of other travelers who need them and have higher status than you doesn't exceed the number of empty seats.

Posted by
40 posts

We thought of the downside but our thinking is that the connecting flight is to Latvia, which is not exactly a super popular destination, so there should be at least some seats available? We would not be taking the risk had the connecting flight been to like Italy or Greece.

Posted by
1429 posts

If you’re connecting from the USA to Latvia and if you booked this on 1 ticket, you won’t go thru security. You will remain airside and only need to go thru passport control in order to get from the area for Non-Schengen flights to the area for Schengen flights. This airside passport control usually has a fast lane for flights that leave shortly.
So if you’re standing in the regular line and it’s so long you might not make it, you can switch over to the fast lane as soon as your flight is displayed on the fast lane.
However 1:10 hour is usually more than enough. Schiphol likes to see itself as a major hub airport, so they will do anything for connecting passengers to make their connection. So if need be, officers will be taken away from the passport control for arriving passengers in order to help out at the passport control for connecting passengers.

Posted by
9 posts

@RickS, @Dutch_traveler answered your questions about the transfer process at AMS with such wonderful detail that I don't have anything to add. I have used the fast lane that they mentioned in the past and it worked really well.

In terms of other things that we did to prepare, I looked at what other flights were available that day so that I had an idea of what our options might be in case we missed our connection. We also made a decision ahead of time (since trying to decide what to do when you are sleep deprived and stressed is not ideal and does not often have the best outcome) that even if our flight from AMS to MSP was delayed until the next day, we would not leave the airport. Even though spending that many hours in an airport is not what most people want to do (though Schiphol is a pretty nice one), that seemed like a better plan than leaving the airport and then potentially missing our rescheduled flight due to the very long lines for security that have been documented.

Making back up plans has been part of my travel planning for decades and it has always served me well. It doesn't take very long (and is actually fun for someone like me who enjoys the process).

Posted by
1429 posts

Things haven’t improved, today is another really bad day at Schiphol. My guess is that the lack of posting only means a lack of people active on this forum flying out of Amsterdam.

Several friends of mine with children whose last schoolday is this friday (middle section of the Netherlands with cities as Rotterdam, my kids last schoolday is July 22nd) fly out on friday evening, saturday and sunday so expect Schiphol to be a real hell hole this weekend.

I am flying out of Schiphol on August 13 with a transfer in Frankfurt so I hope the conditions have improved by then.

Posted by
1 posts

Hi Everyone.

This thread is excellent. I am flying from Ams to Bristol with Easy Jet on the 19 July (Tuesday morning) I have used this airport a lot over the years and know it quite well? I have only hand luggage so I can go straight to security for Gate H is that correct?

Many thanks

Posted by
106 posts

I flew in and out of Schiphol on July 2. It was fine. The only glitch is the tiny boarding areas they have you wait in cause crowded conditions while boarding. There were some people who did not have boarding passes and that line was a bit long but other than that, it all went smoothly.

Posted by
71 posts

Came through Schiphol July 6th on a Delta ticket, arrived at 8:30AM from Nice on KLM Gate B20. Airport was busy and crowded but manageable. I made my way over to passport control, got in line at 9AM, was through at 9:30AM. There were 7 agents checking passports, the self serve passport line was long but it had 10 stations, I wasn't able to compare the times through the self serve and regular lines. The passport agent was calling out flights that were departing in the next 30 mins and moving people to the front of the lines. Delta had extended my layover from 1.5 hours to 4.5 hours two weeks before I left, now departing at 1PM. I had plenty of time to have lunch, do some shopping and get to the E gate area. There are some nice lounge areas on the floor above the gate and shopping areas to recharge your phone etc.

Posted by
3 posts

I will be traveling to Amsterdam on a nonstop UAL flight from San Francisco, business class, arriving 7/19 and departing 7/27. Does business class provide any priority for either arrival or departure? We will have checked luggage. It looks like United uses a different checkin/customs/immigration areas than KLM/Delta. I looked up recent flights, and it does appear to arrive at G gates and use Concourse G/Departure area 3. Does that make any difference, or is the whole airport a mess? Thanks in advance for advice/information so we can plan accordingly.

Posted by
2490 posts

Unclaimed baggage is piling up at Schiphol airport, reports the NOS. The broadcaster, citing five anonymous sources in baggage handling, claims that ‘around 16,000 suitcases’ have been left at the airport, following weeks of travel chaos. ‘There are so many that some piles of suitcases are even outside,’ one told the broadcaster. Another reportedly said that the problems with baggage had not been so large for years. The sources shared images of rooms full of pushchairs, lines of covered luggage trucks outside and everything from cases to guitars waiting to be claimed. Hendrik Noorderhaven, a spokesman for EU-Claim private claim firm told NOS that it was chaos. ‘There are thousands of claims,’ he reportedly said. ‘We have never seen anything like it.’

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2022/07/unclaimed-baggage-piling-up-at-schiphol-airport-nos/

Posted by
225 posts

Looks like it's (temporarily) getting worse:

https://nltimes.nl/2022/07/08/peak-day-schiphol-busy-roads-expected-summer-vacation-starts-central-nl

(snip)

Peak day at Schiphol, busy roads expected as summer vacation starts in central NL

Summer vacation starts in the central Netherlands today, which means it will be a busy day for traveling. Schiphol expects a peak day for departures. And travelers' association ANWB expects busy roads from this afternoon.

Schiphol airport expects a "peak day" for departures, meaning long queues at check-in, security, and passport control. The airport urged travelers to check the itinerary for their flight on the Schiphol website or app and not to come to the airport more than four hours before their flight departs. That just adds to the crowds and chaos.

Posted by
60 posts

I dropped my daughter at Schiphol today (Saturday) at 13:30 for her KLM flight at 17:30.

There were no queues outside at all.

She checked-in her luggage and was through security in about 50 minutes.

Even the passenger drop off/ vehicle unloading area was half empty.

Bizarre.

Posted by
60 posts

@mbellamy48 An acquaintance of mine flew KLM business class last week from Schiphol. Even though the airport was jammed full* she said that business class skips almost all the queueing and she was through in a normal time (an hour?).

*the outside queues of (economy) passengers stretched even longer than the long covered area the airport has erected parallel to the approach road.

Posted by
7906 posts

Hoping the situation improves by 5 August.

Note there is a form we must complete to enter The Netherlands.
Not sure how to complete it, since we fly into Amsterdam on the 4th of August on a separate ticket from the one we fly out with.
Form asks how many days we will stay in the country. Based on our Delta flight from Atlanta we will be there until 24 May, but we fly to Nairobi on the 5fh and return from Arusha, Tanzania on the 17th (we have a week planned in Amsterdam).

Posted by
3 posts

@markwilson, thanks for your help.

Another question for anyone who has arrived from the US or another non-Schengen country recently: is it as much of a mess arriving and clearing immigration/customs? We are United business class arriving from San Francisco.

Posted by
327 posts

Regarding the July 8 post with the link about the luggage mess.....a friend of mine returned to US on 7/2 from Schiphol and as of today, 7-11 does not have her luggage.

Posted by
60 posts

@geovagriffith - if you are arriving on 4th Aug and flying out (albeit on another ticket) on the 5th Aug put "1 day" on the form.

In May, on your return to AMS from Arusha, put "7 days".

Posted by
7906 posts

Markwilson thanks for the advice.

Since we are flying on two separate tickets, Delta from the USA to AMS then later AMS back home. Then Qatar Airways from AMS to Nairobi, returning from Arusha, we will be able to collect our luggage upon arrival at AMS and check our luggage with Qatar when departing.
Perhaps that will facilitate not loosing our luggage?

Posted by
2 posts

mbellamy48- We flew from Seattle to AMS on 6/23. It took 10-15 minutes to get through customs. (Then our flight to Rome was delayed 2 hours). We fly out of Schiphol to Seattle tomorrow evening. I will report back. Fingers crossed it’s not too bad.

Posted by
2490 posts

It seems like there's no in-between. People are either breezing through quickly with no issues, or stuck for hours.

Posted by
2 posts

7/13 Schiphol report- We got to to the airport exactly 4 hours (1:30 PM) before our flight to Reykjavík. We checked in yesterday and are carrying on our bags, so we avoided bag drop off. It took 5 minutes to get through check-in (where they scan your boarding pass). We were directed upstairs to a long line that winded around toward security. It was comparable to a morning weekday flight at SeaTac. I had prepared my kids for a really long wait and we’re thrilled it only took about 50 minutes to get through security. There’s no taking off shoes, removing laptops or liquids….and there was clear communication reminding people to empty pockets and notifying when it’s your turn to step up to the X-ray belt. It was more efficient than the US. Yes, it’s busy. I was mentally prepared for a rough experience and it was much easier than expected.

Posted by
7906 posts

AMS security may be more efficient in some respects, but having traveled a lot, I can say that I have only had one security line that took more than 20 minutes to go through in the past 15 years. That was in Chicago O'hare which in my opinion is the worst airport in the USA.

Posted by
2207 posts

I've been to Schiphol for departure the last two days... for clients leaving on AA and a friend departing on KLM. My wife also arrived today on UA from the USA... so a busy few days for me at AMS.

AA at AMS has the self-service bag drop option and for AA you NOW have to check in at the airport kiosks, even if you checked in online. This is because AA is now VERIFYING the number of checked bags - hence, the "extra" check-in. But with that modified boarding pass in hand, you can self-drop your bag at AA - NO NEED TO GO TO A COUNTER and be waited on!

UNFORTUNATELY, the UA folks were screwed as UA does not have the self-service bag drop option at AMS. Thus four planeloads - more than 800 people - were lined up waiting on five (5) reservationists to check in EACH OF THESE PEOPLE. (and we all know how long that takes!). The UA lines were OUT THE DEPARTURE AREA DOORS and into the parking lot. I am not sure how many of those folks made their flights.

The Departures Areas (2 & 3 especially) were filled to the brim with lines stretching in all directions. Yesterday, my clients were able to use the 'back wall" scanners to head to security on their AA flight. Today, those scanners were AGAIN shut down and ALL FOLKS (who did not have Priority Boarding - 1st Class, Elite flyers, etc.) WERE ROUTED through one set of scanners in front of Departures 2. Yes, EVERYONE departing from Departures, 1, 2, and 3, was funneled through one set of scanners.

The line to the scanner was perhaps 2 hours at some times during the day. Security was running at about 1 to 1,25 hours. My clients and friend kept sending me updates after they made it into the security area. There were inspectors checking at the entrance to all Departure Areas to make sure no one was entering more than 4 hours earlier than their departure. They've been inconsistent with this requirement but with Departures teeming with people, they were VERY serious about it today. I was denied entry because I did not have a boarding pass; I was just dropping folks off - or meeting them. But if you know the quirkiness of AMS, you know there are plenty of back stairwells and remote elevators you can use to get upstairs to the Departure Area - which I did.

I fly out again in six days on Vueling to BCN - which departs from Check-in Desk #19 in Departures 3. I am already planning my strategy, downloading a book on tape, and charging my headphones. I'm guessing I will be in line for at least 2 hours, hopefully, less than 3. Our flight departs at 10.30 AM - and since we're cruising, we have checked luggage - so we'll be there at the 4-hour window.

It was interesting that on two consecutive days, the boarding pass scanner entry system was handled differently. On the first day, the back wall scanners were open. On the second, they were not and the line just BLEW UP!

On a positive note, my wife's UA flight arrived 15 minutes early - and although delayed finding an open gate - her luggage did arrive about the same time she cleared passport control (and all three bags!). Granted she walked past more than 800 bags stacked up... Perhaps there's hope on the ARRIVALS front. But the DEPARTURE systems are inconsistent and simply CHAOTIC!

Posted by
2207 posts

Transiting is by far easier at AMS than Departing or Arriving. In the past, a 90-minute connection at AMS was frankly, quite easy. But now, I think you have to consider 2 hours or more.

The staffing challenges create some unique situations. My wife's plane arrived this AM and she was "delayed" getting off the plane as they had TO WAIT for someone to show up at the gate to park the plane. (The pilot commented that it was due to staffing issues - not sure if that was a fact, or his opinion... but this is happening).

But I think this is a challenge at ALL European Airports. As I said earlier messages, I've flown a lot this summer and perhaps only 1 or 2 of my flights left or arrived ON TIME! So it's not just AMS. That said, because AMS is so easy to negotiate - basically, one large terminal where trains or buses are not needed to get from gate to gate - I still like it better than many other Euro-airport (and yes, I'll still pick AMS over CDG despite the current issues... but that's just me!)

I suppose a lot of this is determined by the airline you're flying, how many other later flights that airport has to your ultimate destination, etc. I am not looking forward to flying out of AMS next Friday (again), but I am less concerned about clients connecting because they DO NOT have to deal with the biggest challenges at AMS --- which are Checking In; Scanning your Boarding Pass to get Airside, and Clearing Security. Transiting clients are ALREADY checked in, will stay airside, and thus DO NOT have to clear security.

It's interesting that at AMS, on the LANDSIDE - before you clear security, the Airport seems to be in total turmoil. But once you exit security and enter the AIRSIDE terminal area, it seems almost empty in comparison. I would guess that many transiting passengers DO NOT even realize the ongoing turmoil at AMS because they're just not seeing it.

Of course, if your flight is delayed, or your connection doesn't show up... well, all that changes! That said, I still do like AMS for transiting... JUST NOT departing as of late!!!

Posted by
2207 posts

Note, as mentioned earlier - if you are an Elite Flyer, traveling First Class, or have a Priority Access pass (pertinent to mostly locals), then you can get in a shorter line to the Airside scanners. Today, the waits in this line were running about 30 minutes. Then, when you get upstairs to security, you can again BYPASS the long security through a gate for these folks. A First Class ticket is starting to look good to me!

Another option - and this happened to one of my clients - is to be in a wheelchair. She needed a walker and so we set up wheelchair support. Little did we know the impact of that. Yes, she was whisked to the front of the scanner line and then to the front of the Security line. She was through all this in 15-20 minutes. The rest of her family was 1.5 hours behind her!

Posted by
2490 posts

Interesting that they didn't let the family of the woman in the wheelchair go with her.

Posted by
2207 posts

They only let her son - who was pushing her and then handling her carry-on items - go with her. The other members of the party had to go through the regular scanner and security procedures. Conversely, a few days ago, while waiting in line at Dublin to simply drop off my checked bag (I already had my boarding pass), three families were allowed to go WITH their wheelchair-bound parents to the front of the check-in line and then together through security. . Apparently, it's handled differently by different airports.

Posted by
2207 posts

geovagriffith - Qatar Airlines checks in at Departures 3 at AMS.

Posted by
14293 posts

@roubrat....interesting story on Icelandic Air! Wow to flying baggage handlers and having cabin crew assist. Wonder if they had to sign waivers on their contracts or if it is the old catchall - "Other duties as assigned"!

RnR - Thanks for your continuing updates on Schiphol.

Posted by
587 posts

I thought I’d share my recent experience in case it helps… although it sounds atypical. Note: I was travelling alone and am an experienced flyer.

I had booked the first KLM flight from Schipol to Bristol (UK) last Sunday morning. The flight was at 8.25, and both the Schipol and KLM app were very clear to say “allow 4 hours - but no more.” However check-in desks and baggage drop weren’t due to open till 5.25, apparently. So you can see where problems might arise!

However, I was travelling hand luggage only. I checked in online on the Saturday and stayed Saturday night in the Citizen M hotel which is literally five minutes walk from departures.

I arrived at 4.30am. My gate number was already showing (D6). Do check this as soon as you get there, because it’s a confusing airport to find your way around.

I noted long queues already waiting for check-in. I walked past, following signs for my gate area, and up to the next level. The signage seemed to terminate at a not-yet open area with some escalators, so I stood there for a couple of minutes wondering if I was so early that I couldn’t even approach security.

But then I spotted another arrow to my departure gate in the far corner, so I set off again, only to hit a big queue. I stood in the queue for about five minutes, until my sleep-deprived brain noticed that this was a queue for yet more check-in desks - there seem to be check-in desks on several levels and basically all over the place.

So I stepped out of line and continued on my way, spotting another arrow! (Honestly, the signage isn’t the best). At that point I think I turned a corner, maybe up another escalator - to a sign that said “length of wait for security - 5-10 minutes.” And there was ONE other person ahead of me. Amazing.

Also, I started to drink my water quickly but the security woman said - no, you can bring liquids through. No need to take out your bag of toiletries either.

So I got through security and into the departure lounge in 30 minutes and would have been quicker if I hadn’t accidentally joined a couple of random queues. And then I had to wait nearly an hour for anywhere to open to serve coffee and breakfast…

So: check-in online, hand luggage early, try to book on the first possibly flight of the day. Check your gate number. And keep looking for signage and arrows.

Posted by
7906 posts

Yes,WOW golden girl,

Our flight on Qatar Airways leaves at 4:10PM, but I have seen recent flights have been from half an hour to hour and a half late departing.
If we miss that flight, there is one departing at 0800 the next morning.

Posted by
7906 posts

Jean,
Amazing, never heard of an airport closing down checked luggage for a large percentage of passengers. Fortunately, we arrive early one day and depart 32 hours later on separate tickets. Also, we are traveling to Kenya, outside the EU.

Posted by
847 posts

Interesting story about the wheelchair thing.
Southwest Airlines is known for a huge amount of wheel chairs. One time 20 people were lined up in wheelchairs. Gate agent got on loudspeaker and announced that wheelchairs would board last for available seats.
15 people got up out of the wheelchairs and got in line.

Posted by
381 posts

I appreciate the many updates folks are adding to this thread. I have not seen any posts differentiating between Main Cabin vs. First Class/Elite Status. Is it all just a random cluster at AMS or are there still separate check in and security lines for first class or flyers who are fortunate to have elite status? If so, are those lines any better?

Posted by
1429 posts

@JayMN; many airlines at Schiphol have designated check-in desks for passengers who meet the criteria for priority of that particular airline. Usually the lines for these desks are shorter. Those who qualify and are flying with KLM or another Skyteam alliance airline, can also profit from SkyPriority. If your boarding pass says SkyPriority, you can use the designated SkyPriority security lines which are also shorter.

Posted by
2207 posts

Today, I headed back to Schiphol for the 7th or 8th time since the challenges began. Our flight to BCN was at 10.25 am. We left The Hague by train at 5.33 am, arriving at 6.03 am. (A bit early for the 4-hour window).

There was NO ONE monitoring the entrance to Departures 3 to enforce the 4 hour rule, so we headed for the Vueling counter, #19, to check in. Fortunately, I knew that Vueling had earlier flights than mine, so I knew the counters would be manned.

As we walked towards the #19 counter, there was a HUGE line that exited the building and went 250-300 meters out into the parking area. OH NO!!!

But having flown Vueling often, I knew they shared the counter with British Air and this was the BA line... and it was terrible - at least 1.5 to 2 hours to check your bag.

The serpentine that lead to Vueling was empty and at 6.10 am we walked immediately to a reservationist and dropped our bags. We left there ar 6.15 am. That turned out to be a lifesaver!

Because then we had to join the line to scan our boarding pass to get TO the upstairs security area. We walked from Departures 3 to Departures 1... and jumped in line. The signage to get from 3 to 1 - and the start of the line - was extremely POOR... and the line set up was different than the last few times I have come to Schiphol. Apparently, they are still trying to find something that works.

This line --- to get to the scanners --- took us 1.5 hours and trust me when I say it was getting testy! There were no airport security people in view and thus folks were trying to cut the line and there were many exchanges and tense confrontations. Tempers were frayed.

The have now installed a portable toilet trailer at the point where the line bends back to hhe terminal. This line runs outside the terminals and along the road you use to drive into the airport.

These are the only toilets along the route the line takes... so go before you get in line or go there!!!

After 1.5 hours we finally got to the scanners to scan our boarding pass and enter the secured area (all we could think of was... what if out boarding pass didn't scan correctly?)

There are EIGHT SCANNERS at this point... so 90% of the travelers departing from Schiphol are in this line and are using 8 scanners. That's about 30,000 - 40,000 people a day going through these 8 scanners. And you wonder why there's a line!

We got through and then joined the security lines. Despite the long lines, six stations were closed! Staffing is still the largest challenge facing Schipol.

Our wait for security was 45 minutes... and we exited about 8.30 am. So, with 5 minutes spent dropping off our luggage at an empty Vueling counter, we spent an additional 2.25 hours getting into and through security.

All we could think about was those folks in the BA line who had to still drop luggage... and waited an additional 1.5+ hours to drop those bags. They weren't alone. UA, Delta, and KLM also had massive lines. And these lines stretched forever... either out into the parking lots or inside through the terminal. The Delta line was backed up all the way into Departures 3. The lines today were the worst I've seen.

And yet, it got EVEN worse. As we walked to the B gates after a brief recovery period in the Aspire lounge (coffee w/Baileys at 8.30 am), we saw the scanner line had now exceeded the tent canopy they built and now stretched all the way to the HILTON and back. (If you've ever walked that route, you know how long the line was... and that was the turnaround point... so in reality, the line was twice that length... easily 2+ hours to now get to the scanner).

So it's no better. GO EARLY! We were not stressed because we gave ourselves plenty of time, knew we could drop bags earlier as Vueling had earlier flights... and we know the system and airport. GO EARLY... and expect at least 3 hours in multiple lines!

Posted by
3 posts

July 27th report. I am flying United to San Francisco, departing out of Departure Area 3. Arrived at Schipol at 11:35 am. (The KLM/Departure 1 area had long lines out of the building, under the tents.) We had priority status, and from the time we got out of our taxi until we cleared passport control—with US passports we could use self service kiosks—was about 45 minutes. So if you are flying business class or qualify for priority status another way, it helps a lot (a question I asked a few weeks ago). Someone else who didn’t have priority said it took him 2 hours. At the security line, the sign said 40-45 minutes to get through. The scanners for luggage are slow. For some reason I got patted down—she even ran her hands inside my pants waistband!! The little girl ahead of me and her mother also got patted down. My husband did not. Not sure what she was looking for.

Yesterday my daughter and her family arrived around 1:45 pm. The were flying KLM to Boston, so different departure area. It took them a total of 75 minutes, with passport control being the slowest; because they had young children they could not use the self-service kiosks. Hope this is helpful to those of you planning trips. The same advice holds—allow plenty of time so that you do not have to worry!

Posted by
3 posts

I’ve been checking this forum regularly too for updates so hoping the lack of chatter means there’s nothing to talk about now! Wouldn’t that be nice!
We are landing in AMS from the US on Aug 1 late morning. And depart mid Aug around 1 in afternoon. Will give update good or bad… but if anyone else has recent experiences… I’ll be looking for those too!

On a related note… we are flying Delta back to US. Do we check-in at the airport same as KLM? And is there a place to drop off bags if we check in any online before we arrive at airport? Reading all these posts, I wasn’t sure if lines to check-in bags were the same as “dropping off” already (online) checked bags.

Posted by
14293 posts

@Sam_travel - when I flew back on Delta in May I checked in at one of the KLM desks. There were plenty of uniformed KLM staff around to point you in the right direction. I'll add that for the first time ever on the outbound leg I was able to check in to an international flight via the app. Inbound from Amsterdam, even though I loaded the then-required negative Covid test and already had my passport and vaccine card in the Fly Ready app, I could not check in via the app. Just be ready for that and leave time to do a desk check in.

On the day I left the people just doing bag drop were in the same line as the check in folks.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you Pam!
Right after getting off plane… they queued us up in line upstairs to go downstairs to get to passport control. As we were getting towards front of line before we even went downstairs, they told us to go to “Gate F” Passport control. Of course everyone who was behind us in line sprinted past us and got to Gate F first even though we had waited our turn in line before. There were only 2 agents working. Oh well… life traveling with kids & hauling their gear.
All in all, I am not complaining. From getting off plane, through passport control, getting our bags and out past secured area, it was about 30-45 minutes. My friend who came in June took 3 hours to get through.
But the line we saw in parking lot to check-in as we were leaving…

Posted by
60 posts

Dropped daughter at Schiphol at 17:00 today for her KLM flight to Asia.

There were no queues/ lines outside at all and she was through bag drop and security in 50 minutes.

Posted by
11 posts

Flew into Schiphol on August 3 on Delta from Atlanta transferring to KLM city hopper to Glasgow. Our flight was supposed to arrive at 10:35, but was delayed. We landed at 11:00, but taxied to the gate for at least 10 minutes. Our flight to Glasgow was supposed to leave at 12:20, but was delayed until 12:50ish (I can’t remember the exact time). Our incoming flight landed at a F gate and our departing flight left at the D gate. Was a bit of a hike (no plane trains like in Atlanta), but 4 passengers from 1st class, 2 from premium economy, and 2 from economy (who did hitch a ride because of a bad foot) all made the gate with time to spare. Once we got to the gate, we had to scan our passport in order to get down the stairs to the place where our flight was to leave. It was self-scan and very quick.

We flew from Ams to Fra and from Fra to Almaty,Kazakhstan on August 14. We arrived on P3 long parking at 6 am and by 6.30 we arrived at the security in Terminal 1. Our waiting time was exactly 10 minutes. There was almost no line at all.
We were way to early for our 10 am flight and had to wait for over 3 hours near the gate🙈🙈

Posted by
90 posts

Flew through AMS YESTERDAY 8/17 to connect with a flight to DUS. No problems at all. About 12 minute wait at the passport control to the Schengen area. There were assistants at the passport control area to help people if their connecting flight was imminent. Moved to the B terminal for the KLM flight to DUS. Actually the worst part was at that gate. They called our flight, went down the jetway to two flights of stairs to a bus. Got on the bus. They took us to a plane. Had to walk up the stairs to the door and then onto the plane. I had only a carryon (no checked bags because of the recent luggage crisis at the airport). Fortunately a nice fellow passenger helped me with my bag up the stairs. No warning ahead of time that these Cityhopper flights had this boarding issue going on. Otherwise, AMS experience was ok.

Posted by
3 posts

Same good story for my flight out Wed the 17th at 1pm (13:00) to the US on Delta/KLM.
Arrived at 9am to departure 2 and there was staff checking boarding passes that we weren’t more than 4 hours early. From here through all the lines and to our gate was less than an hour with no priority or status!
I was very impressed and relieved there was helpful staff throughout airport if we had questions. We had checked in online but had bags to drop off. Another traveler in our group was unable to check in online so had to get boarding pass at counter. We both made it through this process in about 5-10 minutes. Next was Security (I think?)… that was about 10-15 minutes. Passport control was about 15 minutes as well. We were never in a line that went anywhere near a parking lot which was good as it was pouring rain! And both our checked bags made it home as expected!
My friend left day before for 2:30pm (14:30) flight to NYC. She had checked in online, was priority status and no checked bags. It took almost 2 hrs to get through. At one point she did say they were calling out British & US passport holders for separate line?

Posted by
223 posts

I am at Schipol Airport right now. We arrived at 7:10 am, and made it to the shopping area in 50 minutes. We checked bags, also. I hope that everyone will be as lucky as we were.

Posted by
7906 posts

We are back in the USA after 21 days overseas.

We arrived in Schipol 4 August and stayed at the Hilton Airport Hotel walking distance from the airport. Our flight to Nairobi (via Doha) on Qatar Airlines departed at 4PM on 5 August. We walked to the airport, arriving at Noon, got in line for check-in, however check-in not open until 1 PM. Check-in took about 45 minutes, then security took another 45 minutes, then immigration about 10 minutes. We made it through all the lines with about 40 minutes until boarding.

After our trip to Africa, we returned to Amsterdam on 17 August and had a great week in that city. Returning to the airport on 24 August. Our Delta flight departed at 1PM and we made it through check-in within about 20 minutes (check-in was open at 9AM). Security was a bit shorter than it had been on 5 August and we made it through security in about 40 minutes, immigration in about 20 minutes.

It appears that Schipol is back to near normal.

Posted by
2 posts

Still a lot of delays and cancelled flights unfortunately :-( (see https://www.schipholdepartures.nl/).
But I have the impression that it actually varies from day to day. Dutch school holidays are over next week so probably a bit less passengers and a little bit of rest on Schiphol Airport.

Posted by
19 posts

Good experiences on both arriving and departing through AMS. We arrived Saturday from SFO. Baggage and customs were both easy, taking about 30-45 minutes total. We are departing AMS today. We arrived 7:30 am for an 11:00 am flight. Baggage check done in 15 minutes, security 20 mins, passport control maybe 10 minutes (at most). We were expecting the worst but it all went smoothly.

Posted by
1429 posts

“ Baggage and customs were both easy, taking about 30-45 minutes total. ”
I think you mean to say bagage and immigration/passport control. Customs relates to good and merely consists of walking thru the “Green or nothing to declare” channel on your way out the airport.
The point where your passport is checked is called immigration or passport control. Depending on how many border police officers are on duty and how many transatlantic flights arrived just before yours, the lines for passport control can be quite long. This was the case even before the staff issues started at Schiphol this year.

Posted by
2490 posts

That's promising, jbmckinney12. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by
1 posts

I only wish that I had the good experiences many of you had. However, it was not to be. But based on a travel rep suggestion we put Apple Air Tags into our luggage which saved the day.
We arrived at Schiphol the morning of August 22. It took nearly 1 hour to get through customs to the baggage area. Baggage from our Chicago flight was to be at area 18, a long walk. After about 15 minutes waiting at the carousel the Chicago flight info vanished from the sign. A couple in our group walked back to area 1 where they found someone to talk to. They were told that the Chicago baggage “might” be in the basement and went to look. They came back 25 minutes later to say the bags were not there. At this point the people with Air Tags showed them that the bags were in fact someplace nearby. After searching some more, they found the bags were (dumped) on the floor between carousels 19 and 20. This process took another 2 hours, for a total of 3 hours after deplaning. Without those Tags our bags would have joined the thousands of unclaimed bags we saw piled high along the walls and in every conceivable free space in the claim area.
I have another name for Schiphol but I won't say it here.

Posted by
381 posts

Schiphol Airport seemed business as usual this morning. Flying home to Minneapolis this morning from Schiphol. Arrived exactly 4 hours ahead of my 1230pm flight. I have Sky Priority access with Delta and I checked a bag in without any wait at all. Security for Sky Team/first class flier’s took approximately 15 minutes. From my vantage point, the non-Sky Team fliers were likely going to be in line for approximately 30 minutes. After security, passport control via the e-readers took another 15 minutes. As noted before, security here now requires passengers to keep everything in their bags, including wallets, passport and electronics. It makes the security process easier for those fliers who don’t fly regularly, although it appears to put more pressure on the actual airport screeners. All in all, things went well.

Posted by
2490 posts

I arrived at Schiphol this morning around 8:00am. There were 3 people in line for passport control. It was eerily quiet. Took about 30 seconds. 😊

Posted by
5 posts

We're travelling to AMS soon, arriving next Wed. I've been following a number of forums and I was under the impression that things were improving. And, then I read this article from yesterday, September 12th and I was surprised things are perhaps not as I thought they were (that being, return to somewhat new-normal experience at AMS) https://www.aviation24.be/airports/amsterdam-schiphol-ams/chaos-returns-to-amsterdam-schiphol-as-security-staffers-massively-look-for-jobs-elsewhere/

Posted by
3254 posts

I’ve been watching the situation here for weeks, hoping it will improve.
There is no mention in the two articles if transit passengers are affected.
Does anyone have any recent updates on their transiting experience at AMS?
Asking because I will be changing planes at AMS to go on to Florence, next week.
Thanks!

Posted by
408 posts

Transferred thru AMS on Sunday; arrived from SFO for rail connection onto Antwerp Centraal Stn. A 2-hr layover to get thru Passport Control and navigate our way to the platforms should've been plenty, and we did eventually make it onto Thalys connection. But the course wasn't exactly smooth sailing. Hardly any personnel on-prem and when we got to the designated area for that flight's Passport check, they announced to the crowd of ~80 folks standing there (for 15m) that they couldn't open, so everyone had to flock to the general entry-check section, some dashing like Bob Hayes. The wait at PC was approximately 25 minutes. Not horrible, but if they had their act together and everyone had been instructed to go there directly (instead of other hall) it would've made for a less stressful transfer, especially for those with tight connections. Would not recommend booking KLM itinerary with anything less than a two, two-and-a-half hour window these days.

Posted by
1429 posts

Transit passengers who transit to another flight at Schiphol don’t use the same passport control as passengers who enter the Netherlands or who transfer to a train. Even with all the issues at Schiphol, transferring from one flight to another has not been an issue. You certainly don’t need 2.5 hours.

If you arrive at Schiphol from outside the Schengen zone and you transfer to a flight to a non-Schengen destination, you won’t need to go they passport control, as you stay in the international/non-Schengen part of the airport. You simply exit the plane, walk to the correct gate and board the plane.
The same if you arrive from within Schengen and continue on to a Schengen destination.

Only when you arrive from outside Schengen and continue on to non-Schengen or vice versa will you need to go thru passport control. You simply follow the signs to your next gate and you will automatically bump into the special passport control for transfer passengers. This special passport control has normal lanes and a separate fast track lane for passengers whose flight is first to depart. If your flight number is shown on the screen, you’re allowed to use this fast track.
More details here; https://www.schiphol.nl/en/transfers/

Posted by
467 posts

I changed in AMS a few weeks ago, from CPH, to ATL. It was no problem, other than there being a lot of people in the airport. I think it took ten minutes go through the passport kiosk.

Posted by
408 posts

Just confirming Dutch_traveler, we needed every bit of our two-hour layover this past weekend, making our connection with minutes to spare. Perhaps weekends AMS has fewer resources (don't know)?

Posted by
408 posts

@DT, believe so; but again the delay was primarily due to misinformation following signage to our flight's (KL606) PC/Entry area, and subsequent move to other checkpoint. When the rep came out and told everyone they could not open (assuming due to lack of resources, but never told why) the scramble was on to general PC area.

Felt like we were in It's A Mad Mad Mad World trying to find the Big Dubya. :)

Posted by
1429 posts

@Matt; from your story it seems you transferred to a train. While the train station is located at the airport, technically this is not a transfer. The train station is located outside the secured area of the airport. A transfer to a train therefore can’t be compared to a transfer to another flight.

Posted by
408 posts

Okay, DT. You win. SJ asked whether anyone had recently transferred at AMS and thought I would help.
Have a great day!

Posted by
1429 posts

I’m sorry you feel this way, because this is not about winning at all. This is about giving people up to date advice.
When you transfer to another flight at Schiphol there is designated passport control especially for transfer passengers, you remain in the secure area of the airport.
When you transfer to a train, it isn’t considered a transfer because you need to leave the secure area of the airport in order to get to the train station. When you leave the airport to go to the train station, you use the same passport control that all arriving passengers use. Regardless of whether they stay in Amsterdam, get on a bus to Paris or take the train to Belgium, all passengers arriving from outside the Schengen zone will need to go thru the same passport control for arriving passengers.
Passengers who stay in the airport to catch another flight, can use special designated passport control for transit passengers. This special transfer passport control station, has designated fast tracks for passengers of flights that are leaving shortly. There have been many problems at Schiphol recently, but long queues at the special passport control for transit passengers isn’t one of them. It’s one of the few things at the airport that seem to still function quite well.

Posted by
933 posts

Saw a crawl on Bloomberg this morning indicating a new announcement for more reductions in passenger traffic at Schiphol this fall, a reduction of 18 percent or around 9,000 passengers a day through airport security, which sounds like it will mostly impact passengers starting their journey from the airport.

Posted by
3254 posts

Thanks…it does seem as if transiting passengers are not have any bother doing that.
I do feel bad for people entering from outside the airport to get a flight.

I will report back on here when I’m finally in Italy, to let you know my own experience!

Posted by
19 posts

We left the Netherlands schiphol airport yesterday. We arrived by train 3+ hours before our flight. We had Sky Priority with Delta. It took a good 2 hours to get to our gate (includes time to be lost and confused). Sky Priority helped significantly. Sandy

Posted by
3254 posts

Trenìt! update.
I transited through Schiphol yesterday and it was just fine.
Landed a little early from Canada, and I then had nearly 3 hours till my next flight.
The only problem is the lack of signage.
I walked a good five minutes in the wrong direction before finding a Departures electronic board, and that was after stopping a flight attendant to ask her.
Then it was a long hoof to my next area and gate, which I didn’t mind , as I had plenty of time.
The other thing about European airports, and it’s always been this way, is a serious dearth of washrooms.
And when you do find one, the lineups are out the door, and the the stalls are often too small to hold you and your carryon bag or case.
No planning! 😳
Come on people!
Then, going through passport control was very quick.
Loads of people, but the line kept moving along and I was through in under 10 minutes.
Very efficient.
Not many places to get a snack or coffee…some were closed or had closed early due to lack of staff.
All in all, efficient….which is what you want travel to be!
And…..miracle…..my checked bag survived two flights and was going , merrily intact, around the carousel as I entered the baggage hall in Florence!

Posted by
2490 posts

I just checked in for my flight out of Schiphol tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed 🤞 😬

Posted by
2490 posts

It took 45 minutes to get through security and passport control this morning. Lots of staff around to assist.

Posted by
560 posts

I flew into Schipol about 10 days ago. I got through passport control in less than 30 minutes. I stayed at the adjoining Sheraton with a window view of the exterior of the airport. I noticed the line to get inside the airport was at times double wrapped all the way down the drop off entrance (where they have set up portable white tent covers). Then the line would go down to nothing. It was very inconsistent. I flew home from a different airport so I did not experience the security lines myself.

Posted by
52 posts

Arrived to AMS on 22 Sept at about 11:30am and it only took about 25 minutes from the time we got in line at passport control to get our passports stamped. We didn’t check luggage, so can’t comment on how long baggage handling was taking.

Still, feeling pretty anxious about going back to AMS for our return flight on 4 Oct (departure time at 12:30pm).

I do have to say, signage could be better as far as ground transportation goes. If I didn’t know exactly which bus stalls our bus to Haarlem picked up at, we’d have been lost more than we already were (and info points seem to be lacking…or invisible).

Posted by
1912 posts

Reporting my departure last week on a Friday, 1h45m security line. Free bottle of water and Stroop Waffle for my trouble.

Posted by
52 posts

And the return report...

Showed up at Schiphol Tuesday AM (4 Oct) at about 7:45 (flight was at 12:35pm). No lines to get in, Delta allowed my husband to check a bag even though we were there well before the 4-hour arrival requirement. Security and passport control took about 50 minutes, then it was a loooonnnnggg wait for our flight, which left about 30 minutes late.

Posted by
1912 posts

At least it's a nice airport to wait around in Tammie :)

Posted by
52 posts

Hmm….nice yes, but after that many hours it all begins to turn into a blur. The boarding agent asked if that was my first flight of the day, and I honestly couldn’t remember because the morning had seemed so long : )

Also, for reference if anyone is using the Schiphol app (very handy), this day was listed as Normal for crowd levels.

Posted by
2490 posts

Tuesday seems like it might be a good day to fly out from there. My flight was Tues Sept. 27th and was also labelled 'normal' on the airport app.

Posted by
52 posts

Roubrat, yes, it would be interesting to know the difference in wait times based on the crowd levels the app predicts.

Posted by
802 posts

davidfox, That sounds truly dreadful. Sounds like a tough day & yet you managed to get where you were going, congrats! Given the chaos of summer, I'm wondering if anyone would like to break out their Ouija board and make a stab at Christmas / NY 2022-2023 traveling into Schiphol? We are considering visiting Amsterdam & Delft over New Year's, (coming from inside Schengen so possibly easier arriving with carryon only than it will be departing). Here's the latest I could find on travel chaos extending into autumn - https://www.euronews.com/next/2022/10/07/airlines-iata-travel-factbox

Labour union FNV said on Oct. 6 that Amsterdam Schiphol airport offered security workers a pay rise of 20% on average to try to solve ongoing staff shortages. Schiphol, one of Europe’s busiest airports, has grappled with long passenger queues for months and has cut capacity by almost a fifth until at least March 2023 due to the lack of security staff.

Posted by
20 posts

Flew back from Schiphol to Vancouver with KLM yesterday. The Schiphol app designates Thursdays as “busy” so not “normal” but not “peak”. Wary of the many cautionary tales I arrived four hours ahead of departure having done online check-in and with just carry-on. Security took around 20 minutes and non-EU passport 15 mins.

Posted by
5 posts

We’re currently at Schiphol (10/19) awaiting a 5:15 p.m. departure to Salt Lake City. The airport website listed today as “normal,” but I wasn’t sure whether that meant normal by recent Schiphol standards, or normal for the rest of the world. We arrived four hours early simply because had no place better to go after checking out of our hotel and seeing everything we wanted to see in Amsterdam. There are no lines of any significance here. It took us 57 minutes to get from the curb to our gate, which included wandering around to find the check-in counter, dropping our bags, and enduring two pat-downs at security. Everything is calm and quiet.
Here is the link to the Schiphol website, which I recommend: https://www.schiphol.nl/en/.

Posted by
114 posts

Flew from Amsterdam to Salt Lake City on 10/18/22. Scheduled departure was 1000. The airport tracking website reported reqular que times. We arrived at the airpot about 0645 and were at our gate a few minutes before 0800. The longest line was for security but it moved at a fairly steady pace. No other issues. I had read of very long waits just the day before, so it appears it's a day by day situation.