KLM/Delta flight, bags and transfer questions

We booked a flight from Portland, OR to Amsterdam, then on to Dublin. Coming home we fly from London,Heathrow to Amsterdam, then back to Portland. My questions are: 1. I booked the flight on KLM website, but the long-haul parts are on Delta, it appears I can check bags through to final destination? Anyone have experience with that? 2. Will we have to go through customs in Amsterdam before catching the flight to Dublin? 3. The connection time coming home - we land in Amsterdam at 9:00, flight to Portland leaves at 10:15. I am worried about making it to that flight as it is international - any help/advice? Thanks again to the wonderful travel buddies out there for the help!!!

Posted by Paul
Cedar, IA, USA
2371 posts

Since Delta and KLM are codeshare partners and you booked the ticket as a single itinerary, it is handled as if there were only one airline involved, so your bags are checked through. I will though disagree with Frank on Immigration Control. Unless Schipol Airport is set up oddly, there is no reason for you to go through Immigration or Customs. You technically will not be entering the Schengen agreement countries since you are in transit. Ireland is not part of the Schengen agreement, so you will go through immigration there. Incidently, you will also go through immigration on entering the UK from Ireland, but then will not go through immigrations when you pass through Amsterdam on your way home. As for the tight connection on the way home, you likely will be arriving and leaving from the same terminal, since both flights technically are international. Airlines tend to be good about making sure you make the connection, so no sense in worrying now, just hope for the best.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10854 posts

Ques 1. - Yes, you check through to final destination. Everyone has experience with that. What are you asking? Ques 2 - You will go through immigrations in Amsterdam. Ques 3. Not a problem IF it is the same ticket. You will already be checked in for the international flight and it is just a matter of getting to the gate. You should stay behind security since it is a connecting flight.

Posted by Jaye
Dallas, OR, USA
99 posts

Thanks for the reply Frank. As regards question 1: I was just wanting confirmation that even though there are two different airlines involved, they will still check my bags all the way through to Dublin and I won't have to get them off for customs check in Amsterdam. It is all on one ticket through KLM so it sounds like it will be fine. I am most nervous about the tight connection time coming home - about changing from one terminal to another (if need be) and having enough time to get it all done. I appreciate your help!

Posted by CL
Salem, Oregon, USA
914 posts

Having done this myself, I'd offer the following advice: ask the person who checks you in at PDX (and at LHR on return) if you have specific seat assignments on your second leg flights. If you do not, you'll need to stop at one of the KLM transfer desks in Amsterdam (they're everywhere) and get a seat assignment/boarding pass. You don't get them at the gate there, and you'll waste precious time if you have to double back (been there, done that). I'd also verify at LHR that the connecting flight knows you're coming and if they know the gate number for the Portland flight. My recollection is the security check at the AMS gate for the Portland flight takes awhile, so you'll want to get there asap. If all else fails, there's a 1:30 flight from AMS-MSP-PDX that will serve as plan B. that said, that Delta flight is the best way to get from PDX to Europe, so great choice!

Posted by Jaye
Dallas, OR, USA
99 posts

Paul and CL, I cannot thank both of you enough for the great advice!! It is so very helpful and will surely prevent problems that could have occurred during our trip. I have taken careful note and will follow all your suggestions and not worry so much now about this part of the trip! :0) I am so excited to visit Ireland and England for the first time!! Thanks again and happy travels!

Posted by Darcy
Lewiston, Idaho, USA
1201 posts

Jaye, I frequently have taken the SEA-AMS Delta/KLM flight. I realize it's not the PDX-AMS flight but would imagine it's similar. Every time I have had to go through Passport Control on arrival from the US. I have had to be assertive (but nice!) every time because of the crowds since I frequently only have 1-1/2 hours between flights. After Passport Control I run to my gate and go through Security at the individual gate. Returning to the US has been easier because I don't have to go through Passport Control just security at the gate. Last year I did the SEA-AMS round trip in May-June and SLC-CDG in September-October. I much prefer the AMS airport....It's much less nerve-wracking!
We have always been given our seat assignments at the gate for the domestic flight.

Posted by Paul
Cedar, IA, USA
2371 posts

Just to keep everything clear for Jaye and others that may read this thread, Jaye is traveling PDX=AMS=DUB, not just PDX=AMS or even PDX=AMS=Other Schengen Airport. At AMS they will not need to go through Immigration because they are not entering the Schengen Zone, they are in transit to a non-Schengen country. I agree though, that on their way back (LHR=AMS=PDX) at AMS they will have Gate security since they are boarding a US bound flight, but not Schengen passport control.

Posted by Jaye
Dallas, OR, USA
99 posts

We are back home and I wanted to report on our experience in the event it may help others. The advice I received was great! 1. Our bags were in deed checked through all the way both times. 2. We did not have to go through customs in Amsterdam before catching the flight to Dublin. There was an area where they checked our passport and boarding pass and that was it. Easy to do and close to the area where we waited for our connecting flight. 3. I was so worried about this one - no problems at all! We got off the flight from Heathrow to Amsterdam, ran as fast as we could to the gate for our flight to Portland (it was in a different section of the airport, but we had no problems finding it.) Once there, we had to actually wait our turn for the security screening and then after that was done, waited some more before boarding the plane home. We did follow the signs for 'connections' and we also had one boarding pass that was printed in Heathrow for BOTH our flights so did not have to print or obtain a second boarding pass in Amsterdam. First time that has happened for me (not a big time traveler though so maybe this is more common than I realize). Hope this may relieve someone else's mind - thanks again to all who answered my initial questions, really appreciated it!