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Short transit at Schiphol

We have only 1 hour 10 minutes for a transfer arriving from the US and transferring to a city hopper. With current conditions is this enough time?

Posted by
6841 posts

As long as your flight itinerary is on one ticket if you miss the connection due to the first flight not arriving on time the airline you bought your ticket from is liable and will just put you on the next available flight to your final destination.

Posted by
2291 posts

Schiphol is efficient, but still, 70 minutes is tight even in normal times. What do you mean by "city hopper"? Are there later flights to your destination city?

Posted by
6841 posts

KLM operates Cityhopper which usually have multiple flights a day to a particular city

Posted by
5307 posts

For transit passengers, there really is no paperwork related to covid to draw out immigration, although you will likely be asked to fill out a health declaration, or you can go online, fill it out and print it, to have in hand.

As for the process, when you deplane, I recall being let out into the international terminal with all the gates, as opposed to a maze of separate hallways. Just make sure you look for sign indicating transfers or in-transit, do not wind up in the immigration queue to exit the secure zone. Immigration for transfers usually moves quicker.

Posted by
5 posts

Hi, thanks for the info. The only other flight to Porto that day is not until 8:30pm. We would not get into our hotel until close to midnight or later so I am concerned about missing the connecting flight.

Posted by
2065 posts

@stott003, AMS is our home airport, and as mentioned, it's an easy transition. I am assuming this routing will all be on one ticket, so no customs, no checked baggage to deal with, etc...

From the USA, you will arrive in the Non-Schengen section of the terminal (the D-, E, F, or G gates) and have to make your way through passport control to get to the Schengen gates - from which your KLM flight will depart. Because AMS is basically ONE large terminal, (separated into Schengen and Non-Schengen zones) there are no buses or trains to catch - you simply walk from one section of the airport to the next. And the signage is quite good.

When you exit your arriving plane at AMS, immediately find a Display Board and determine which gate your next flight is leaving from. (It will be B, C, or D if it's a KLM Schengen flight). Follow the signs to go towards the B, C, D gates and you arrive at Passport Control. At AMS, there is no security at this passport control between zones - you simply need to present your passport (and in these COVID times, they MAY ask for your completed NL Health Declaration form). Once you pass through this checkpoint, you'll immediately enter into the Schengen section of the airport. It's that simple! Then you head for the appropriate gate (hoping it's not a higher number as those are the farthest out on the B, C, or D legs of the terminal).

The one area of concern may be that there can be HUGE lines at passport control if multiple planes arrive simultaneously. Yet, towards the FRONT OF THE LINE, you'll see Schiphol Airport security officials. Often, they are calling out Destinations - like Berlin, Paris, etc. They do this for travelers like you who have short connections. Head for one of these officials with your boarding pass and passport ready and they'll allow you to go to a SHORTER line, bypassing everyone waiting so you can make your connection. If they are not calling out your flight, ASK THEM ANYWAY! (if they think you have plenty of time, they'll tell you to get in line). If there are no lines, they generally are not visible.

Note - the D gates are split. The lower level - gates (D1-D57) - are in the Non-Schengen area. The upper level - gates (D59-D87) - are in the Schengen zone. Yes, you still have to go through passport control to go from one level to the other.

It is a tad spread out. If you come into the G gates from the USA and you have to go to the B gates, or the outermost D gates (like D87, which I always seem to get stuck with), you probably need to be HUSTLING! There are some moving sidewalks scattered throughout the terminals, but oftentimes they are filled with folks who are NOT walking, and worse, blocking your way - so be prepared. Like most airports, the further you get away from the LOUNGE areas - which is what Schiphol calls the COMMON AREAS where gates B, C, and D intersect - the fewer food, drink, or shopping options you will have. Good Luck!

Posted by
7 posts

I appreciate this as well because I have exactly the same situation, a short 1 hour transit on arrival from SEA connecting to Venice on Sunday morning.

Posted by
22 posts

Hi RnR - thanks for the reporting on AMS-connections. I will be coming FROM Barcelona into AMS and heading to USA-LAX.
Is the same advice true in reverse for short 70-90 min transfers (KLM has both flights from BCN-AMS and AMS-LAX and I have business class if that helps any? (yay points/miles!)
Thanks!

Posted by
2065 posts

tmbuergi, Yes - except you'll be doing the reverse, from Schengen to Non-Schengen... the same principles apply. You'll go through passport control near the D-Gates area. They do have the passport scanner system there (if open) which speeds up the process. The airport officials are often standing to the right. Again, for short connections, they'll be calling out names. Good luck!

Posted by
29 posts

You should be fine as long as your flight isn't late arriving at Schiphol. We had the same amount of transfer time 10 days ago and made the connection with ease. We had plenty of time to clear border control, but if time is short, they have a special line that will expedite the process.